The estate of Ric Weiland ( pictured ) —one of the first people to work at Microsoft Corporation and a high school classmate of the company's founders, Bill Gates and Paul Allen—has bequeathed $65 million to gay-rights and HIV/AIDS organizations, according to the Associated Press.
PrideFoundation.org, the Web site of the Pride Foundation of Seattle, announced Feb. 24 that 10 organizations will receive a total of $46 million from the Weiland Designated Fund at Pride Foundation:
—amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
—Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( GLAAD )
—Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network ( GLSEN )
—In the Life
—International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission ( IGLHRC )
—National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
—Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays ( PFLAG )
— Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Weiland bequeathed the other $19 million to the Pride Foundation 'for our scholarships and grants supporting the Northwest's LGBT community,' acording to the press release.
Weiland committed suicide in June 2006 at the age of 53, after struggling with depression. He is survived by his partner, Mike Schaefer of Seattle, and his nieces and nephews.
GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano issued a statement that read, in part, 'A bequest of this size and this longevity permits us to create assets to strengthen our ability to meet the demands of the fast-paced ever-changing media landscape in GLAAD's continuing quest to fight defamation and change hearts and minds, leading to full equality.'