DETROIT — Michigan’s only statewide LGBT advocacy group on Oct. 21 announced it had received the largest donation in the organization’s history.
Equality Michigan said in a press release it had received $3 million from the estate of Henry Messer. More than $1 million will go directly to the organization, while the additional money was donated to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan that contains Equality Michigan’s endowment.
Messer, a brain surgeon who was discharged from the U.S. Air Force during World War II because he was gay, co-founded the Triangle Foundation in 1991. The organization merged with Michigan Equality in 2010 and became Equality Michigan.
“Henry was a visionary but he was also a mentor and guardian to everyone who has worked for Equality Michigan,” said Equality Michigan Executive Director Emily Dievendorf. “Our work today would not have been possible without Henry’s compassion, generosity, and passion for our mission and communities which we serve.”
Messer passed away in his suburban Detroit home in February with his partner of 63 years, Carl House, by his side. He was 86.