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Couple's unusual philanthropy to benefit WUSF.

When people find a worthy cause, many will simply send in a donation or volunteer their time. But WUSF supporters Pat and Arthur Bastille of Tampa had something else in mind. "It's a very different idea, and a great one!" says Scott Nolan, Development Officer for WUSF. The Bastilles, who own and operate rental properties in the Tampa Bay area, decided to build two new homes and donate a portion of the profits to support organizations they believe in. Pat Bastille says, "I think everybody fantasizes that if they got some money, they'd give it away to charity. That's what this is about."

It all started when they found a parcel of land in Hyde Park that they were interested in developing. "To make a long story short, once we found out it was actually the size of two or three lots, we decided to build two homes and donate the proceeds of one home to some of our favorite charities," Pat says. The homes, designed by architect Roger Grunke and built by Robert Holsopple, were completed this fall and put on the market. One is Italianate Colonial in design and the other is a Craftsman-style two-story bungalow. "We hope to sell them quickly, so we can get this money to the non-profits!" she says. Approximately 10 other nonprofit organizations will benefit from the generosity of the Bastilles.

What Makes WUSF Special?

"We've been members of the Cornerstone Society at WUSF for years," she continues. "We love the station. It provides an invaluable service of information and marvelous music. I don't know what I'd do without it." While the Bastilles own many CDs, they prefer to listen to WUSF 89.7. "You get human contact with the station. They give you background about the music, and you can tell that the on-air people love the music they're playing. Plus, you can call them, and they'll answer your questions about the music. They are a lovely group of people."

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The Bastilles have attended many special events hosted by WUSF at the studios, including the recent studio performance by pianist John O'Conor. They also traveled to New York with WUSF in October and enjoyed several concerts, museum visits and great company.

Originally from Massachusetts, the Bastilles moved to Tampa in 1984. While her husband originally didn't want to move here, he now says, "It may not be paradise, but it's close enough!" They have four grown children who support their philanthropic efforts. "They understand how important it is to give back," Pat says proudly.

"More people should support WUSF and become members." Pat adds. "It's so important to pass it on, to give to organizations you care about while you are alive, so you can enjoy watching the smiles and seeing the good work your money can do." She sings the praises of the station to people all the time. When asked why people should donate she says, "Join! We'd love to meet you at the events and get to know you!"

"The Bastilles have enjoyed developing their innovative philanthropic plan, and we're very happy to be among the beneficiaries of their creativity," says WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky.
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Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:529
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