I am honored to introduce the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund I have established to carry on the legacy of my late husband.
Since Greg’s death in October 2015, I have heard from so many of his former colleagues that he was not only an exceptionally talented financial analyst, but also an extraordinarily kind and generous human being. And certainly I knew his warmth and generosity very well! Greg came from a modest background – and despite or perhaps because of that, he always went out of his way to help others as soon as he had the means to do so.
In our personal life together, particularly in recent years, Greg and I dedicated most of our time to animal advocacy causes. Greg and I adopted 17 rescued animals beginning the year we were married in 1992 – altogether eleven cats, four dogs, and two horses. Many of these were especially challenging cases – including a feral cat with a rare medical condition, two street dogs, a heartworm-positive dog, and a former racehorse who had been abused and abandoned to starve. Greg and I went vegetarian in the year 2000, and then became full ethical vegans in 2009. We transitioned from city to country life in 2012, and established our small farm as a certified wildlife sanctuary. Additionally, in the last five years, we donated at least 5% of our before-tax income each year to a few dozen of our favorite animal advocacy organizations.
I established this Fund on April 22, 2016 (Earth Day), to continue Greg’s legacy of caring for all animals, human and non-human. The fund will focus on helping the most helpless – and also on shaking up conventional thinking about animals, which Greg liked to do. More concretely, it will focus on three areas – animal rescue, veganism, and wildlife conservation – to which Greg was most dedicated in life.
Fund grants to date have been made to the following organizations and programs that particularly inspired Greg and me:
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) – Cruelty Investigations Department (which rescued our horses Henry and Caroline and our dog Itchy)
- Animal Place – Food for Thought program (which inspired us to become vegetarian and ultimately vegan)
- Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (which certified our farm as a wildlife sanctuary)
Monday June 6 would have been Greg’s 53rd birthday. I hope you will consider a “birthday gift” in the form of a tax-deductible donation to this Fund. I also welcome recommendations regarding other organizations and programs that address the core goals of this Fund, to which I should consider directing grants in future.
Last but not least, I hope that if you are not already vegetarian or vegan, you will consider making June 6 a “Meat-Free Monday” or ideally an “Animal Product-Free Monday” in Greg’s honor. A few of the many helpful resources for this include the PETA Vegan Starter Kit, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Vegetarian Starter Kit, and the Happy Cow guide to vegetarian and vegan restaurants around the world.
Please feel free to share this information with anyone who knew Greg.