A Los Angeles-area apparel designer has left $2 million to City of Hope.
Walter Oppenheimer, who died in August at age 92, provided a $1 million gift annuity in honor of his late wife, Helga, as well as a $1 million bequest. Both are unrestricted, so the institution may apply them where the cancer center most needs them.
Throughout his life, Oppenheimer supported numerous academic and medical centers. His contributions to City of Hope arose through a friendship with the one of the institution’s most committed advocates, Andy Spiegl.
Oppenheimer first met Spiegl, member of City of Hope’s medical center board of directors and board of regents, on a cruise on the Danube River in Europe in the early 1990s. After the trip, their friendship grew and Spiegl told the Oppenheimers about City of Hope. Spiegl accompanied Oppenheimer on a campus tour, where they visited the pediatric unit. The pair discussed the institution’s storied history within the Jewish community. Not long after the tour, Oppenheimer made his financial commitments to City of Hope.
Oppenheimer began his career in retail. An apparel designer by trade, Oppenheimer launched Helga Inc., a line of women’s special occasion clothing, with his wife in 1947. In the early 1950s, the two relocated to Los Angeles.