Queen of Mean's Estate Nice to Hospital

The late "Queen of Mean" is helping a Greenwich hospital in a big way. Hotelier Leona Helmsley's charitable trust has donated $9.7 million to Greenwich Hospital.

The grant is one of the 53 awarded Tuesday. The real estate baroness' estate gave away $136 million to hospitals, foundations and the homeless, and left $1 million to animal charities.

The money will help pay for the hospital's new outpatient surgery center, which will be renamed the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley ambulatory medical center, according to the Stamford Advocate. The cash will replace hospital funds that were used to construct the building. 

The hospital applied for a grant from the foundation months ago. As you can imagine, hospital officials are thrilled to receive the funds. 
"We're very, very pleased because, had this grant not been approved, it would have been a significant drain on our capital," Frank Corvino, hospital president and CEO, told the Advocate. "But the Helmsleys were always very good to us. They really cared about this hospital, and making sure we could provide the very best health care to our community."
This is the second largest gift the hospital has ever received. The first was a $10 million donation, also by Helmsley  in 1996. 
While the hospital is reaping rewards, it seems Helmsey's dog "Trouble" is losing out, and one advocate is accusing the estate of not honoring the hotel tycoon's wishes. 

Trouble was originally named sole beneficiary in Helmsley's will before she died in 2007 at the age of 87. But instead of getting the entire multi-billion dollar estate, about $1 million will now go toward dog causes.       
Helmsley's fortune, with much of the holdings in real estate, had been estimated at $5 billion to $8 billion after her death.

Her estate still is attempting to sell her 23,000-square-foot estate in Greenwich. The asking price for the 40-acre property, known as Dunnellenn Hall, recently was slashed to $75 million. The estate was priced at $125 million when it went on the market in early 2008, and the price was cut to $95 million last fall.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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