The India Benton Lesser Foundation

The Organization of the Foundation

The Board of Trustees consists of India Benton Lesser and Bruce Lesser. The Foundation's Board of Directors consists of India Lesser, Bruce Lesser, Carolyn Severson, and Steven Lesser. We are fortunate to have Eileen Lesser serve as Secretary of The Foundation Board.

India Benton Lesser -- Mrs. Lesser is the founder of the India Benton Lesser Foundation. She was a teacher in Bibb County for 29 years until her recent retirement. She continues to be an active member of the community.

Bruce W. Lesser -- Mr. Lesser founded the India Benton Lesser Foundation with his wife to assist tax-exempt organizations and charities in the Middle Georgia area. He came to Macon as a pharmaceutical representative, and is a strong and active member of the community.

Mrs. Carolyn B. Severson -- Mrs. Severson is Mrs. India Lesser's first cousin and has served on the India Benton Lesser Foundation since 2011 following the passing of Mrs. Ruth M. Smith. Mrs. Severson is actively involved as a volunteer in the Marquette, Michigan community. She serves on the Beacon House Board of Directors (, and the Superior Health Foundation Board of Directors ( She and her husband Burns (Steve) reside in Champion, Michigan. They have an adult son Burns Severson IV.

Steven L. Lesser -- Mr. Lesser is the brother of Bruce W. Lesser. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Steven attended the University of Tennessee and graduated from the University of Baltimore. Mr. Lesser has been a fixture of the Maryland wine industry for the past 40 years. He is a member of the Sommelier Society of America, the Wines and Foods of France and the Wine Educators of America. Upon his retirement 3 years ago, Steven and his wife Eileen continue to raise Golden Retrievers as therapy dogs for Pets on Wheels of Maryland as well as race and restore vintage Corvettes.

Eileen G. Lesser -- Mrs. Lesser is the wife of Steven L. Lesser and has recently joined the India Benton Lesser Foundation. She is a native of Baltimore and graduated from Towson State University teaching secondary education as well as graduating from the Peabody Conservatory, Preparatory Department, majoring in piano. After retiring from Sinai Hospital of Baltimore after 35 years and owning her own medical transcription business for 40 years, Eileen has joined the Foundation as Recording Secretary. She and Steven raise Golden Retrievers as therapy dogs and joined Pets on Wheels of Maryland. They visit nursing homes, dementia units and retirement communities several times a week with their dogs. Eileen teaches Mah Jongg to beginners and refresher groups and plays Mah Jongg several times a week. She has also been Recording Secretary in the Mason-Dixon Chapter of the National Corvette Restorers’ Society for the past 18 years.

** The Honorable Robert L. Smith and Mrs. Ruth M. Smith served as two of the original four (4) Trustees of the India Benton Lesser Foundation until his passing in 2002 and her passing in 2011. Judge Smith hailed from Savannah, Georgia. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney for Georgia, served in both World War II and the Korean War in the Judge Advocates General Corps. He was appointed as a Federal Social Security Administration Judge in 1973. Mrs. Ruth M.Smith volunteered at Charter Northside Hospital in Macon, Georgia for more than twenty-five years, and she was a member of the Macon Service Leaque. Judge and Mrs. Smith made great contributions to their communities, the nation as well as to the Foundation and are remembered not only as kind and generous, but also dear friends to India and Bruce. They are greatly missed and fondly remembered by many.

Click here for a list of charities that have benefited from the Foundation

Click here for the Foundation's "Guidelines for Grant Requests" (Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view. Click the button below to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The India Benton Lesser Foundation |ATTN. KIM SCHRAG| H.GREG LEE , P.A. ATTORNEY AT LAW | 2014 FOURTH STREET | SARASOTA FL 34237 |

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