Betsy Ross Lovett

Betsy-RossYou might say that Betsy Ross Lovett hasn’t met a cause yet that she hasn’t funded, but it’s clear the Jacksonville native has a special love for learning, especially through reading. She has been a regular and enthusiastic participant in the Episcopal Children’s Services Wild Reading Safari, dressing in costume for the character of her chosen story.
Mrs. Lovett particularly loves themed galas but loves most the opportunities to further literacy and education, believing that education, reading and the arts inspire people to become involved in productive endeavors. “It’s the joy of my life,” she said about her philanthropic gifts. “I receive more from the benefit of being a part of something far more than I ever, ever could give. I can’t tell you what happiness it brings to me.”
Through her gifts she has funded the Betsy Lovett Courtyard at the Jacksonville Public Main Library and the Betsy Lovett Center for the Arts at The Bolles School Bartram Campus and said that many parents have thanked her for that gift.
“A clerk in the grocery store said ‘My son was at Bartram and going the wrong way. Now he’s on stage in New York City.’ Imagine! That’s really saving a life and gives the rest of us great joy seeing him perform,” said Mrs. Lovett.
In July 2015 she was surprised with an honor from Learn to Read Jacksonville, which named a portion of the Adult Learning Center at the Olga L. Bradham and Etta L. Brooks Branch Library the Betsy Lovett Reader’s Corner.
“I was really quite surprised,” said Mrs. Lovett. “It was overwhelming, as these honors are typically naming opportunities.”
Jacksonville health care has also benefited from Mrs. Lovett’s largesse when she created the Betsy Lovett Fund for the Advancement of Surgery and Medicine at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, renaming its Riverside surgery center the Betsy Lovett Surgery Center. Mrs. Lovett shares the story that doctors at St. Vincent’s Hospital saved her life in 1939, inspiring her to make the donation. On her ninth birthday, she was admitted with pneumococcus, peritonitis and a ruptured appendix; a new drug called sulfanilamide and an arm-to-arm blood transfusion saved her life, and Lovett has never forgotten that.