“That’s what money is for. If you can’t do good with it, don’t have it,” states 98 year old Russ Gremel, a message that is at the heart of this story.
A simple man who has always led a quaint life is the last person you’d expect to have two million dollars in Walgreens stock to his name — but that is exactly Russ Gremel.
He bought 20 shares of Walgreens stock for about $1000 over 70 years ago, when the company was just gaining momentum. His brother had explained to him, “Drug stores are good business because people always need medication and women will always buy cosmetics.” And this has absolutely rung true, as the thousand dollar stocks are currently worth over two million.
Gremel recently donated the entirety of these earnings to the Illinois Audubon Society to open a wildlife sanctuary in his name. “Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary” will comprise nearly 400 acres of land, and is set to open to the public next week.
The preserve will enclose over 200 species of birds and 400 species of plants. Gremel’s intentions? Just as simple as his lifestyle — “so that people can come out and enjoy nature the way I do.”
“I have the pleasure of going there and seeing it,” Gremel explains. “You’ve got to do some good in this world. That’s what money is for.”