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John and Mary Lohre

Fostering the Arts through Philanthropy

John and Mary Lohre have enjoyed the performing arts throughout their lives. This year, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Support of the arts must be good for a marriage!

John and Mary both came from families who cared about their communities. Mary’s mother participated in many charitable activities through her involvement in the Junior League. John’s mother gave countless hours to her church and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. In addition to the arts, the Lohres support organizations that serve the less fortunate, continuing the legacy of their parents.

The couple recently shared their motivations for becoming fund holders at a neighborhood gathering held at the home of a former Denver Foundation trustee. “We decided to come to The Denver Foundation at the recommendation of friends who, like Mary and I, are very keen managers of their finances,” John said. “The financial handling of our donor-advised fund has indeed been excellent.”

Beyond the financial stewardship of their philanthropy, Mary and John feel that involvement in the causes they support is important. Whether it’s going to symphony concerts, heading a committee at Rocky Mountain PBS, or attending plays and musicals, they keep in touch with the community.

Mary thinks that Denver’s performing arts organizations have done a great job of changing with the times. She describes how all the musicians dress in costume for family Halloween concerts of the Colorado Symphony, once with the conductor dressed as Yoda, the iconic character from Star Wars. Creativity like this makes the experience more fun for frequent symphony patrons and certainly more fun for children. The Lohres have always made a point of sharing cultural experiences with their children, and now with their grandchildren, as well.

It follows that Mary is particularly impressed with the work that some of Denver’s cultural institutions are doing with students whose families are not able to provide these experiences. She said, “We love the fact that there is so much effort being made in outreach to school children.”

John added, “I often think the arts are easy to bypass. When there are so many people in need, a lot of people might think they should skip their support of the arts.”

John and Mary set a good example by supporting both people in need and the arts through their philanthropy. They believe that the arts are a vital part of the community, and make fostering the arts an important part of their philanthropy.

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