Dr. Jack Cooley gave and gave to Carle Foundation Hospital when he served as chief of surgery for 27 of his 32 years with the hospital.
Because of a new law that allows donors to roll over portions of their Individual Retirement Accounts to the charity of their choice, the former cardiac surgeon continues to give and give.
"It's a nice way to do it," the 82-year-old who retired in 1990 said from his home in Mesa, Arizona.
"The IRS and the government are allowing a special non-taxed amount out of IRAs for 2006 and 2007. ... So I took advantage of that and donated the quantity I had to get out of my IRA for 2006 to Carle."
He'd wanted to find a major way to give back.
"I owe a lot to Carle," he said.
Donors like Dr. Cooley help Carle's mission of serving people through high-quality care, medical research and education.
Dr. Cooley looks back on his career with more than a bit of awe.
"It was very interesting to practice surgery during those days when a great number of changes were occurring," he said.
He found the shift to retirement challenging.
"It was quite a shock after 32 years, but I was 65 and that was a good time for retirement," he said.
Dr. Cooley and his wife, Gloria, enjoyed showing Tennessee walking horses in their early retirement. They also showed vizslas - a rare breed of sporting dogs. They even competed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show twice.
Dr. Cooley plans to donate his IRA rollover from 2007 to Carle. And he encourages others to do the same.
"It amounts to a nice amount, and to be able to take that out and not have it taxed is nice. It also makes it easy to donate," Dr. Cooley said.