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Are You Kidding Me?…WHO Got Twelve Million Dollars?

Maybe the title perked your interest. Hopefully now, you have decided to read on. Let me start by saying I like dogs. Actually, I love dogs! Growing up we had Peppy running around the house, then we had a beautiful fun loving dog named Duchess and now we have Boston, a cute Yorkshire terrier.

I was reading an article the other day and was surprised to find out that Leona Helmsley set up a simple pet trust for her white Maltese, Trouble, ensuring that Trouble will continue to enjoy a lifestyle other dogs can only dream of. I’m sure you’ve heard by now…Trouble ended up getting twelve million dollars.

Let me start by saying I never met Leona or her husband Harry, nor do I have anything against the little cute and fluffy white Maltese Trouble. Yes we have all heard the whacky stories of Leona. The stories where they were portrayed as very mean and cheap individuals. Some say that Leona, who served a prison term for income tax evasion and fraud, was regarded as a 1980’s symbol of arrogance and greed.

With everything that is going on in the world (most of which is bad) – couldn’t Leona give the money to charity? Or at least most of the money? She may have given away millions to charities over the years but to set up a trust that has twelve million dollars in it seems ridiculous to me. Why not do something nice at the end of your life to try and change your image? Here is a thought: why not do it just to help people?

With reality shows all over the place why not a new one entitled "What Should I Do With My Money?" Let’s assume that Leona was the first guest on this show and had a chance to read this blog. What would you say to her?

Here is what I would have said: "Leona, education is so important. Why don’t you set up a ten million (give Trouble the other two million) dollar trust to ensure that underprivileged kids can go to college? Pick a high school in New York City and every year give away ten scholarships to kids that probably couldn’t afford to go to college. Show them the way. Set up some internships at your hotels. This way you are helping these kids who in turn can get solid educations, find jobs and help their families in the future."

Leona is asking you, "What Should I Do With My Money?"

I look forward to your comments.

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