In Tuesday’s (2/22) Kalamazoo Gazette (Michigan), Linda S. Mah reports, “A former Kalamazoo family and long-time arts supporters have pledged $500,000 to the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra over the next five years. Dr. John Francis and his wife Linda Francis announced the gift at the KJSO concert on Sunday at which their daughter Anne Francis was the guest cellist. Anne Francis, a 1993 graduate of Portage Northern High School, was a member of the KJSO for six years and spent two years with its Prep String Orchestra. She teaches at Utah State University where she is a member of the Fry Street Quartet. Their other daughters are Meg Francis Cairns and Mary Francis, who also were musicians. … John Francis is now a cardiologist at Georgetown University Medical Center, but he and his family spent 19 years in Portage, where he worked for the Heart Institute of Michigan. Linda Francis served on the KJSO board from 1986 to 1993. … Lee Fletcher, executive director of the KJSO, said the organization had not yet decided what to do with the endowment, which will be made in gifts of $100,000 a year for the next five years. It will be held by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation as the Francis Family Fund.”

Posted February 23, 2011