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updated: 4/20/2013 9:47 AM

Rockford Symphony receives $720,000 gift

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Associated Press

ROCKFORD -- The Rockford Symphony Orchestra has received a $720,000 gift, its largest-ever single endowment.

The Rockford Register Star reports ( that the money comes from the estate of James V. Lathers, who lived in Rockford through high school. The aircraft engineer died last year in California. The orchestra announced the bequest on Friday.

Orchestra Executive Director Julie McDonough said the organization is "surprised and overwhelmed with gratitude." Officials say most of the money will become part of the symphony's endowment fund and invested to provide ongoing revenue. The Rockford Symphony Orchestra foundation fun will total $1.9 million including Lathers' gift.

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