PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Center City real estate investor is marking his 82nd birthday with a grand gesture that will benefit Philadelphia’s gay community.
Mel Heifetz made a pledge to himself in his mid-20s, about the time he realized he was gay.READ MORE: Community Recalls Memories At Historic St. Leo's Church In Tacony As Fire Crews Work To Determine What Caused Blaze
“I decided in life that if I were successful, I would do everything I could to help my community,” he said.
So he’s donated more than two dozen properties valued at $16 million to the Philadelphia Foundation.
“The purpose is to support the gay community in years to come,” Heifetz said.READ MORE: Funeral For Slain Officer, Delmar Police Cpl. Keith Heacook, To Be Held Monday
But his philanthropy isn’t focused on just one area. He has spent a lifetime funding progressive causes and candidates.
“It’s interesting,” he said. “When I’m asked when I make a large contribution, ‘What is it that you want?’ And I say, ‘I don’t want anything, I just want honest, reasonably good government.'”
Heifetz does want something else.MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Police Chief Frank Vanore, Captain Jason Smith To Address Violent Weekend Across City
“Now, what I’m only asking people is to reach in their pocket,” he said. “Give $25 to any organization that you’d like to support.”