Cliff LuraShortly after joining the American Heart Association, Cliff Lura started helping train communities in CPR.

The importance of that training was illustrated for Lura very personally over the years as paramedics used CPR to save his favorite uncle’s life, not once but twice. “We were teaching doctors, nurses and ambulance medics how to perform CPR. Today, we have CPR Anytime,” he recalls. “CPR is a lifesaver.”

More than 50 years after joining the organization, Lura is still focused on helping to save lives through his job as the AHA’s director of charitable estate planning.

He’s seen gifts that support scientific research, education and other efforts to fight heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. Today, he’s happy to help those who donate to the AHA through a will or trust, a type of giving that ensures income to the donor.

In fact, Lura has set up his own Testamentary Charitable Trust and charitable Gift Annuity.

“When I die, the charitable trust will pay my wife for as long as she lives, then it will pay my kids for another 10 years beyond that, and then it goes to the association,” he said. “My wife won’t have to worry, because she’ll have a steady income. It’s a good planning tool for families.”

Lura’s family springs to mind when he thinks of the AHA tagline “Life Is Why,” which the organization uses to illustrate the importance of the fight heart disease and stroke. He says his family is his “Why,” including his 10 children and stepchildren, 17 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

At work, he has a pretty simple “Why” for putting in more than five decades with the Dallas-based nonprofit.

“I’m just giving back,” he said.