Why She's Giving Away $50 Million
August 21, 2009, The Los Angeles Times — Imagine all the things you could buy if you had a spare $50 million under the mattress.
A yacht. A jet. A nice little getaway in Hawaii, and why not in New York, Rome and Paris as well?
A Palos Verdes Estates woman named Melanie Lundquist happened to have the extra $50 million, but she bought none of the above.
Instead, she called Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2007 and told him she wanted to give the money to some of the lowest-performing schools in Los Angeles Unified. She promised to write a $5-million check each of the next 10 years for his Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which took control of 10 campuses a year ago as part of the mayor's boast that he could do better than the district.
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