To Philly Pops Goes the Donor


A Yardley accountant with terminal cancer celebrates life with some lively donations.

Mitzvah Hero: When Yardley accountant Robert H. Rosen, 71, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer last year, unbelievably one of the first things that popped into his mind was, “How can I help the Philly Pops?” His answer follows below.

What It’s All About: Rosen has a donor-advised fund for charitable groups that he opened 10 years ago at a national brokerage with a branch here. The idea behind the fund, he says, was to build up a nest-egg to donate posthumously to a variety of charities. But when Rosen was diagnosed last year, his son, Eric, said “Why wait until you die? Give now and see the results. You can be a hero now!” the philanthropist recalls with tears in his voice.

He did just that and No. 1 on his list of charities was the Philly Pops.

Why the local musical ensemble? 

“I was looking for places that provided me great deals of pleasure," Rosen explains. “I lost my wife 12 years ago, and we always went to the Pops concerts and left feeling, ‘Wasn’t that wonderful?’ "

The Pops has received some $50,000 through the Robert H. Rosen Marketing Initiative that he set up. 

Not a One-Time Thing: The Pops is not the only group to benefit from Rosen’s largesse. He also has made sizeable gifts to his synagogue, Adath Israel in Lawrenceville, N.J.; Big Brothers of Bucks County; and Susan G. Komen, which works to cure breast cancer.

Good for Him: Rosen says he is not donating money for plaques in his honor — although his synagogue, despite his resistance, will dedicate a hallway to him and his late wife. Tzedakah is its own reward, he says, adding that he's grateful to experience the pleasure of giving while still alive. 


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