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GSO Spotlight: Pat Torres

As a member of the Board of Directors and a former member of the GSO staff, Pat Torres has experienced this organization from all sides and understands its impact on our community. In this conversation with Executive Director Suzanne Tucker, Pat talks about the legacy of the GSO and the legacy she wants to leave behind. 

How did you first become involved with the GSO?

When I was working at Wellstar, my senior VP approached our team to see if anyone wanted to become eligible for a Board position with the GSO. I responded immediately. As a former band booster with the Wheeler HS band, I thought I would enjoy continuing to support the arts. That was 2014 and I’ve been involved ever since.

What made you decide to give your first gift to the GSO?

Well, my first gift was related to my responsibilities as a Board member. Through my Board service, and even more so when I became a staff member, I met all of these men and women who had been key to sustaining this organization for the past 73 years…Pat Chilton, Barbara Hammond…Jim Glover, Teresa Ireland…and so many more.

It just blew me away that these people had such a great love for the GSO they gave their time, talent and treasure to make sure it’s a success. 

Then the staff, from Betty Shipman Bennett to Michael Alexander, Susan, Tim, you…and everyone else along the way…aside from the talent, there is just so much heart and soul in the organization. It was community founded and is community supported. If we as a community don’t support it moving forward it can’t continue–and I don’t want to see that happen. 

You recently took the step of becoming a Legacy Giver. Tell us about Legacy Giving.

With Legacy Giving, an individual makes arrangements to give funds to an organization they love upon the donor’s death. There are a number of ways, based on your personal portfolio and preferences, you can choose. You can, of course, make a bequest in your will. But even simpler is to work with your financial advisor and assign a percentage of your retirement account to the GSO as beneficiary. 

The GSO has a fund with the Cobb Community Foundation and they provided simple language that can be used to make sure that upon my death, the money will come through a fund at the CCF to the GSO. It’s not hard and you can do it at any age.

What do you hope to accomplish through your giving? 

I have really become a strong supporter of the arts. And I’ve learned how shameful it is that the arts,nationwide, are not widely supported by the donor community. I want to be part of the group who continues to support them. 

I think the arts are so powerful. Music is so powerful. And not just the performances…the educational programs, too. My kids were in the band all those years and I saw what it did for them…how it taught them hard work, gave them a social network and helped their self-esteem. 

When I go, I want to know I did everything I could to help the GSO continue its mission. 


Learn more about Legacy Giving by visiting on our website

Why your support matters

For over 72 years, the GSO has been dedicated to serving our community through musical enrichment and education. From scholarships for students in our youth orchestra, to providing sensory friendly concerts and outreach into underrepresented populations, we responsibly steward your donations to have the greatest impact across all of our programs.