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I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

Many years ago I outgrew my ability to file a 1040EZ form and required the aid of an accountant. Friends Mary and Steve referred me to the delightful Pat Lahr, a lovely woman who worked out of her home surrounded by a menagerie of dogs who were always friendly, curious, and often demanding of your attention. “Taxes? No, it’s petting time.”

Pat worked wonders on my returns – that was a given – but more than that, she was a warm soul who always asked about my health, my life, and my world. When Mary passed away, it broke her heart and when I got cancer, she was very concerned about me, offering any assistance I needed since she lived only a few blocks away.

She retired but I saw her again last year so she could get my taxes to her daughter who had taken over the business. She was still as sweet as ever and madly in love with the new dog she had gotten.

I just found out today that Pat passed away a couple of days ago on her 87th birthday and her daughter is recommending donations to the Bill Foundation, an organization in Los Angeles that rescues shelter and street dogs and places them in loving homes. Since their founding in 2000, they have placed more than 2,200 dogs, done completely with donations as they receive no funding from the city, state, or federal government. To learn more, visit

In honor and memory of Pat Lahr, I have made the Bill Foundation today’s 50x50x50.