In 2017, we established The Berra Family Charitable Foundation to formalize our family giving in accord with our shared beliefs and values. Our foundation promotes a philanthropic vision by funding programs and services that benefit military, education, health, animals, and other societal needs that reflect our personal charitable interests.
For a few years Beth and Phil Berra had discussed starting their own family foundation. The recent loss of their son Lee Berra precipitated the establishment of the foundation. Lee was a kind, giving, and humble young man who had touched many people in his life. The Berra Family Charitable Foundation is a way for our family to give back to our community and also honor our son, husband, brother, brother in law, and uncle.
Lee Michael Berra was born in St. Louis on March 7, 1984 and passed away in an airplane crash January 25, 2017 at the age of 32. Lee attended Our Lady of the Pillar grade school, graduated from St. Louis University High in 2002, and graduated from the University of Southern California and was commissioned into the USAF in 2006. Most recently, Major Lee Berra was a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base. During his decade in the military, he flew 2,599 military flight hours in 30 different aircraft with 2,270 in the supersonic B-1 Lancer. He deployed to the Middle East 3 times. Major Lee Berra was also a licensed commercial pilot.
Many friends and family sent money to the foundation as a memorial donation to Lee Berra. In September 2017, the Berra Family Charitable Foundation used those donations to make a $25,000 contribution to This Able Veteran, a PTSD service dog organization. The money has gone towards the purchase and training of a service dog. In honor of Lee, the dog has been named Imo. Lee was a devote St. Louis foodie and always had to get his Imo's Pizza fix when he was in town.
We thank our generous family and friends for their love and generosity.
The Berra Family Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation registered with the IRS, EIN 81-5371972.