New residents dedicate funds to help others thrive through music

For high school sweethearts, Ruth and Ed Cogen, who met at the High School of Music and Art in NYC, music is a natural part of who they are and it was important they find a senior community that fostered that passion.

Ruth, 86, is one of three women who founded the Levine School of Music, and for her and her husband, finding a way to give back at Ingleside was easy.

After moving to Ingleside at Rock Creek in January of 2020, they immediately got engaged philanthropically. In 2021, they made a leadership legacy gift to the Westminster Ingleside Foundation by establishing a Charitable Life Income Fund through the Foundation’s gift annuity program, using a portion of their refundable “buy-in fee” to fund their gift. The residuum will one day benefit Music Therapy and Musical Guest Performance programs at Ingleside while the gift currently produces a tax deduction and income stream for the donor.

Ed and Ruth shared that the music therapy program in the IRC health building, now provided by Levine Music’s, music therapists combines the engaging and transformative power of music with the health and wellness goals for Ingleside’s residents. They saw this as a wonderful opportunity to support what they believe in. “We also want to support the concerts here at Ingleside that give all residents joy. We know how great music is from a physical and mental point of view.”

Ed served in the Air Force JAG, as the General Counsel and Deputy Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) “War on Poverty,” and most of his career in private law practice.

Ruth started her career in development at the Sheridan School in DC, then as Director of Development for the League of Women Voters, and finally as executive director of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts before she became a consultant in fundraising and board development.

Before moving into Ingleside at Rock Creek, the Cogens were able to make changes and move a wall in their living room to make space for their baby grand piano. Ed is now part of a piano group at IRC that meets once a month and encourages its members to practice and hone their skills. He also provides background piano music for IRC hospitality events.

Ruth is a new member of the IRC Development Committee and chairs the Marketing Committee, and says it was easy to fit into this engaging community. She is looking forward to the IRC choral group singing again.

“Everything we need is here,” Ed said. “We’ve absolutely made the right move. This is a really caring community and we have made new friends and reconnected with old friends as well,” Ruth said. “It’s been wonderful.”