LOS ANGELES (AP) — Betty Ford Center managers learned this week that the former first lady's final wishes call for the rehab center that bears her name to receive $500,000 in donations.
Betty Ford authorized a $400,000 donation in her final will, which was signed three weeks before her July 8 death, the center said in a statement released late Wednesday. The facility, which is based in Rancho Mirage, Calif., about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, will also receive another $100,000 from a foundation former President Gerald Ford and his wife founded a decade ago.
The center was co-founded by Betty Ford in 1982 and it has treated nearly 100,000 patients, including numerous Hollywood celebrities, for drug and alcohol dependency. Despite its high-profile clientele, the facility remains one of the most respected treatment centers in the United States.
The outspoken former first lady for years personally greeted patients at the center and remained a high-profile advocate for treatment solutions, especially for women.
She granted the Betty Ford Center last year rights to use her name forever, the facility said.
"Mrs. Ford was and always will be the heart and soul of this place of healing," Mary Pattiz, chairman of the Betty Ford Center Board of Directors. "It means so much to us that after all she had given over the past 30 years, the center was still front and center in her mind during her final days."