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James Taylor, wife donate $1M to Mass General

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To honor deep, longstanding family ties to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, James Taylor and his wife, Kim Taylor, are donating $1 million to the hospital's Emergency Preparedness Fund to help support the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

"There is no question that it's a point of pride for New Englanders to claim Mass General as their hospital — our hospital," the Berkshires-based singer-songwriter pointed out in a statement. "This is especially true today with the threat coming from a new and insidious virus. Kim and I want to be part of this fight."

His father, Isaac, earned his medical degree at Harvard, completed his internal medicine residency at Mass General, and served as chief resident there in the late 1940s and early 1950s. James was born there in 1948, and Kim has served on the board of Mass General Hospital for Children for the past five years.

"We have been so inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the health care heroes in the trenches who are working so hard to protect us all," James stated.

In 2016, the Taylors helped to raise $2.6 million for the hospital by performing at a benefit for the MGH Cancer Center.

Mass General has been hard hit by the pandemic, having treated the the first person in the state to die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

In a statement announcing the donation, hospital officials said MGH is currently treating 29 other patients who tested positive. Nine hospital employees have contracted the virus and nearly 500 have been furloughed because of potential exposure.

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According to the officials, the Taylors' donation will go into the emergency fund set up after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and will be used "where the need is greatest, whether purchasing supplies and equipment, repurposing space, or furthering research seeking treatments and means of prevention for COVID-19."

Kim Taylor described MGH as "a place that is looked to for leadership — clinical, scientific and ethical — in humanity's fight against the danger that is around us. We are proud to support a medical center that is leading the way on so many fronts."

In a statement thanking the Taylors for their donation, Mass General President Dr. Peter L. Slavin said the gift will not only help the hospital respond to the outbreak but "will also provide a meaningful morale boost to our caregivers, the many staff who support them, and the scientists who are working to defeat this scourge. It sends a heartening message to our staff that their efforts are appreciated, and they are not in this fight alone."

Last week, Taylor's coast-to-coast Canadian tour with Bonnie Raitt that included performances in 12 cities from Victoria, British Columbia, to St. John's, Newfoundland, from April 14 to May 5, was postponed.

Taylor's eight-week, 28-city U.S. tour, still scheduled to begin in New Orleans on May 15, includes his annual Tanglewood show July 4, which is sold out.

The Taylors live in the town of Washington, and he does much of his work in a state-of-the-art recording studio on the property known as The Barn.

Information from the Boston Globe was included in this report.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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