In Hacienda’s five decade history there are three women, each from unique walks of life, who shared a common thread—that all in Hacienda’s care are deserving of compassion, love, and support. These women, who gave of their time, talent, and treasure included: Ilene Butler, our founder; Mary Baker, who served Hacienda for nearly 40 years; and Ruth Pearson, who with a single visit changed the course of Hacienda’s history.
Ruth Pearson was a successful stockbroker during a time when very few women worked on Wall Street. But it was her active role in her synagogue that brought her and her friends on a tour of Hacienda’s South Mountain campus. When she and her friends arrived, she walked stoically, silently observing each child until the end of the tour. Weeks later, without announcement, Ruth sent Hacienda a $50,000 check—a gift that arrived at a crucial point in Hacienda’s history. Without her gift, the doors of Hacienda may have been closed.
Ruth was an astute businesswoman and was asked to join Hacienda’s Board of Directors in the late 1990s. Her business acumen helped Hacienda become a financially strong nonprofit organization. During her tenure, she was responsible for raising a million dollars in donations and helping secure Los Niños Hospital in 1994. Ruth served on the Board for many years until she retired. Ruth passed away in 2014.
Ruth, Ilene, and Mary all proved that one person with compassion and love can make a difference. Today, the difference each one of them made continues to help over 2,550 medically fragile infants, children, teens, and young adults including those with developmental disabilities.