Planting Seeds for the Future

Mikal Radford and Muriel Lalka will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary in 2023, but their romance has been many more years in the making. “We’ve known each other since high school,” says Mikal. “We were really good friends but went in different directions after graduation.”

It wasn’t until the couple reconnected at the 75th anniversary of their high school that their romance began to blossom. They went on their first date soon afterwards and have been inseparable ever since.

Like their relationship, Mikal and Muriel are taking the long view when it comes to philanthropy. Pair has made a pledge that will support the ROM well into the future.

A retired Professor of religion, philosophy and cultural studies, Mikal grew up attending the long-running ROMKids Saturday Morning Club program and developed a lifelong fascination with the Indigenous collections. Muriel, a retired computer skills instructor, discovered the Museum through the school field trips, often making a beeline for the Egyptian Gallery.

It was these memories of the Museum that prompted the couple to think about supporting the next generation. “ROM was a special part of both our childhoods,” said Mikal. “It’s important to us that the Museum continues to inspire learning as it did for us.”

Mikal and Muriel have been dedicated Royal Patrons Circle members since 2017, providing important support for ROM’s curatorial research, education, and community outreach activities. After learning about Wills & Estate Planning, the couple saw an opportunity to enhance their support – and realize certain tax advantages at the same time.

Using assets inherited from his mother, Mikal and Muriel donated a gift of securities to ROM in their will. Their generosity will enable the preservation and expansion of the Museum’s Gallery of South Asian and Indigenous Collections. For them, this made financial sense and advanced their goal to ensure the future of the Museum.

“I like to think of this as planting seeds for the next generation of kids who will learn about art, culture and nature at ROM – and hopefully, grow up to become supporters too.”

All generous donors who advise the ROM of a legacy intention are invited to join the Currelly Legacy Society. To learn more, please contact Janice Correa at 416.586.5578 or