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Lois and Bob Adams: Supporting Their Hospital and Community

During their first 40 years of married life,  Lois and Bob Adams raised three children and built a thriving business together. Their company, Educational Industrial Systems, Inc. initially installed reading and math labs in schools. Bob did the sales and marketing, Lois the on-site training. When the computer industry emerged in the 1980s, Lois began publishing the first educational software catalog in the United States, which quickly grew from 16 pages to 300. The company also began designing and installing corporate and university training and classrooms for such bellwether companies as Apple, HP, Sun, and Microsoft, opening branches in Bellvue, Washington and Sacramento. By the time of their retirement in 1995, after 18 years in business together, the couple was not ready to relax but was definitely ready to change focus. They turned their attention to their community.

Bob, already a member of the Rotary Club, became the organization's president and established Mentor Tutor Connection, a mentoring program for at-risk high school students. He also started a basketball team for Alta Vista, an alternative continuation high school, serving as coach for nearly 10 years. Lois became involved in the Los Altos History Museum and the Red Cross. And both started volunteering for El Camino Hospital Foundation. Bob canvassed the community in 2003 as a campaigner for Measure D, the bond measure that helped finance construction of the new hospital campus. He later joined the Foundation's board of directors and Imagine Campaign Cabinet. As Foundation board chair he used to say, "My role is to connect the hospital to the community and the community to the hospital." Lois volunteers on the gala and golf tournament committees. She is also a member of Hope to Health, the Foundation's women's giving circle.

"El Camino Hospital is a community hospital and something to be proud of," she explains. "It is a symbol of how separate communities like Los Altos, Mountain View and Sunnyvale can pull together."

"The hospital is moving in a really positive direction," adds Bob. "The Foundation could not support it without the support of the community. It is like a business. The higher the revenue they generate, the more they can do."

Lois and Bob decided to contribute to that revenue in another way, by making a legacy gift to El Camino Hospital Foundation. "We are at the age where we really need to firm up our plans for the future," says Lois. "Certain organizations like El Camino Hospital have made a difference in our lives and we want to remember them in our estate plan." By doing so, they believe, they are not only supporting the hospital but also leaving an ethical legacy for their three children and eight grandchildren that emphasizes the important value of community.