Ferreras Make Estate Gift to Support the Future of HBOI

Photo of John and Barbara Ferrera

In the late 1990s, Barbara and John Ferrera would visit family along Florida’s fabled Treasure Coast. During one of those visits, Barbara’s uncle introduced the couple to Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) in Ft. Pierce. In 2013, when the Ferreras retired to Vero Beach, they became more involved with Harbor Branch and all that it offers.

“Every Wednesday during the season, and once a month outside of season, were the lectures,” Barbara excitedly explained. “It’s how we became fascinated with the river, the lagoon and the medical uses from the sea.”

Earlier this year, an extended trip out of the country inspired the Ferreras to update their wills. After deciding on gifts to the people they love, there was money left over. Having retired from the nonprofit world, Barbara knew that a gift from them would be a welcome one to a deserving local organization.

Photo of John and Barbara Ferrera“We spoke with David Rutherford (Assistant Vice President of Principal Gifts and Gift Planning with the FAU Foundation) and immediately connected with him,” remembers Barbara. “He showed us that our gift would make a significant difference.” The Ferreras committed to making a gift, specifying that it would fund the lecture series and provide for outreach to local schools.

Looking to the future, Barbara and John Ferrera hope for the longevity of HBOI’s research and programs and the sharing of the Institute’s findings with the public — especially school children. John concludes, “What better way to introduce kids to science than via sea creatures?”


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