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New Funds 2017


The following new funds and planned gifts were established in 2017. The Hartford Foundation is proud to partner with these individuals, families and organizations to improve the quality of life in our region. Enjoy reading their stories and the inspiration behind their generosity.

ANONYMOUS NO. 51 FUND 

Donor-Advised Fund

For many years, a generous resident of the Greater Hartford region supported numerous charitable causes that mattered to her. Over time, the administration of her giving portfolio became burdensome. By opening a donor-advised fund with the Hartford Foundation, she was able to centralize and simplify her giving and ensure support of her favorite causes, even after her passing.

ANONYMOUS NO. 52 FUND 

Unrestricted Fund

An anonymous woman spent her entire working life giving back to her community. Now in her retirement, her commitment and generosity have not diminished. She started an unrestricted fund, entrusting the Board of the Hartford Foundation to use her gift to help vulnerable populations and address the community’s greatest needs.

ARONSON FAMILY FUND 

Donor-Advised Fund

03_Aronson Family Fund (resized).pngAmanda and Scott Aronson were born and raised in Manchester and returned to Connecticut from Boston to raise their two children. They have each worked for and volunteer with nonprofits across New England, and Scott ran a family business supporting vulnerable populations. The insights gained from these experiences, coupled with their desire to engage meaningfully in their community, motivated their commitment to support area nonprofits financially. The Aronsons chose to open a donor-advised fund, which will evolve with their personal philanthropic mission and involve their children in the grantmaking process.

LISA AND JOHN BEHAN FAMILY FUND 

Donor-Advised Fund

04_Lisa and John Behan Family Fund.jpgLisa and John Behan, residents of West Hartford, have been involved with the South Park Inn for a number of years. As they looked to expand their support to several nonprofits in the region and beyond, they decided to open a donor-advised fund at the Hartford Foundation. Now, the Behans can support the causes that matter most to them and involve their children in the decision-making process, extending their legacy of generosity.

NANCY BERNSTEIN FUND FOR ARTS AND CULTURE 

Nancy Bernstein.jpgField of Interest Fund

President & COO of Women’s Health USA and Women’s Health Connecticut is a big job—supporting a network of more than 500 physicians and other health care professionals in six states. But Nancy Bernstein always makes time for helping the community. Service is a part of who she is. Her philanthropic work spans many nonprofit organizations. Nancy served on the boards of Leadership Greater Hartford, Community Health Charities, Connecticut Center for Primary Care and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. She currently is a board member of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. 

This fund provides assistance to the arts in the Greater Hartford region. Including programs in the visual and performing arts; painting, sculpture, music, theater, literature or innovation in the creative and cultural sectors.

IRAN BRUGUERAS, JR. SPLASH FUND 

Donor-Advised Fund

hc-connecticut-splash-fundraiser-mental-health-001.pngIn June of 2016, Iran Brugueras, Jr. “Splash” died unexpectedly. Since childhood, Iran courageously and honestly battled mental illness. He used music and poetry, combining both into performance art, as a positive message and a coping mechanism for those like him who struggle with this disease. To honor his memory, his family started the S.P.L.A.S.H. Project (Special People Looking & Aiming for Success & Health). To further the Project, the SPLASH Fund will support nonprofit organizations that work with inner-city children, youth and young adults who have a mental illness, focusing on the importance of multi-disciplinary care with alternatives to medication and treatment, the useful role of performance art and music, and the part that families and primary caregivers play. It seeks to especially support fathers, blended families, divorced families, caregivers in recovery and grieving families.

TIMOTHY K. CHARTIER, MD FUND  

Field of Interest Fund

07_Timothy K. Chartier, MD Fund.jpgFamily and friends of Timothy K. Chartier, MD established this field of interest fund in his memory. The fund will support a scholarship for a bright and determined individual who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education. Tim was raised in Stuart, Fla., and completed his medical school training at the University of Miami. He completed his residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital through Harvard Medical School, where he served as Chief Resident and specialized in dermatology. He later moved with his family to Avon, Conn., where he eventually opened his private practice. Tim served as President for the Hartford County Medical Association, and volunteered on the executive boards of the Conn. State Medical Society and the Conn. Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society. He was also an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. In his free time, he enjoyed coaching his children's sports teams, playing raquetball competitively and playing the guitar. This fund will carry on his good works.

LAUREL M. COHN SCHOLARSHIP FUND 

Scholarship Fund

Laurel Cohn’s life and legacy were shaped by perseverance. She grew up in a poor neighborhood in New York City and lost both her parents at a young age. Laurel enrolled in college but chose to leave school so she could financially support her younger sister, Barbara. Her sacrifice allowed Barbara to do what she herself was unable to: obtain a college degree. Laurel continued to believe in the independence a degree could provide, so she elected to establish a scholarship fund upon her death. Each year, the fund will support one or more motivated students pursuing degrees in business or economics.

THE COMMUNITY CARING FUND 

09_The Community Caring Fund.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Elizabeth and William Keister have been residents of Marlborough for more than forty-five years and care deeply about the town and Greater Hartford region. Inspired to have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of people in the community, they decided to partner with the Hartford Foundation to establish a donor-advised fund. They look forward to directing grants to organizations providing programs and services that benefit children and families, education, health and the arts. 

DONALD K. DEITCH FUND 

Unrestricted Fund

10_Donald K. Deitch Fund.jpgThis unrestricted fund was created through a generous bequest from Donald K. Deitch, who passed away in 2016. An army veteran and UConn graduate, Mr. Deitch joined the family business, Kasden Fuel, in 1949 and retired after almost thirty years. Known for his friendly and positive outlook, the West Hartford resident was also an entrepreneur, business consultant and volunteer, actively supporting his local cultural and arts community.

JOHN AND BARBARA DONAHUE FUND 

11_John and Barbara Donahue Fund (option 1).jpgUnrestricted Fund

Barbara Donahue, a writer and historian who died last year, graciously left the Foundation an unrestricted gift. Barbara, who lived in Farmington, wrote several books about Connecticut history, including Here to Help, Here to Stay: The First 75 Years of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Her husband, John, was a prominent attorney in Hartford. For eleven years after his 1991 retirement, he served the Foundation as a volunteer, helping to strengthen its development efforts. Both Barbara and John were deeply committed to the Hartford community; they served on civic boards, volunteered in tutoring organizations and shared a love of the region’s history.

HARTFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ENDOWMENT FUND 

Unrestricted Fund

12_Hartford-Symphony-Orchestra-Endowment-Fund-(logo-1).jpg

Generous donors Gerald and Barbara Hess of Avon started an endowment fund to kick off the Hartford Symphony Orchestra campaign, Music Builds Community. Several others have made contributions to the fund toward a goal of raising $10 million by 2021. Mr. Hess proudly serves as Finance Chair for the Symphony’s Board of Directors. “This is an exciting time in HSO history,” said Mr. Hess. “We are introducing audiences, both old and new, to the transformational impact of live music. Even at 74 years old, the Symphony is playing a part in our city’s rebirth.”

ARMAN G. AND BETTY A. HATSIAN SCHOLARSHIP FUND 

Scholarship Fund

Betty Hatsian created this scholarship fund in memory of her husband Arman, who passed away in 2013. A graduate of Hartford Public High School, Mr. Hatsian attended UConn and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. For 40 years, he worked as a photojournalist for the Hartford Courant, capturing the well-known images of the 1978 Civic Center roof collapse. The Hatsians returned to Rocky Hill from Florida in 2005 to be with their beloved family. This pooled scholarship will help students from the Greater Hartford area attend college.

HERRMAN FAMILY FOUNDATION FUND 

Donor-Advised Fund

Brian Herrman of Canton established this donor-advised fund after the sale of a business interest. Mr. Herrman, his wife Cherylee and their children will be involved in the grantmaking process. They plan to support their local church's various missionary activities and the three nonprofit boards on which Mr. Herrman participates, along with national and international organizations that match their interests.

JIM AND MARLENE IBSEN SCHOLARSHIP FUND 

15_Jim and Marlene Ibsen Scholarship Fund.jpgScholarship Fund

Jim and Marlene Ibsen are Connecticut natives who have worked and volunteered in the local community for many years. They created this pooled scholarship fund to help Hartford-area students with financial needs attend college, in hopes these students will ultimately enjoy the many benefits Marlene and Jim received from their own educational and vocational experiences.

WARREN E. JACKSON AND JEWELL C. JACKSON FUND 

16_Warren E. Jackson and Jewell C. Jackson Fund.jpgUnrestricted Fund

Jewell Currier Jackson and Warren E. Jackson enjoyed an active life together, living and raising their family in New England. They spent many weekends and summers exploring the New England coast aboard their sailboat, Argonaut (as captured in the painting above). The Jacksons were very interested in the Connecticut River and Watershed, as well as fire protection and safety. This unrestricted fund was formed with a generous gift from their estate. 

JANICE F. AND DAVID M. KLEIN SCHOLARSHIP FUND 

17_Janice F. and David M. Klein Scholarship Fund.jpgScholarship Fund

Janice and David Klein have been active volunteers for many years. They joined the 1925 Society in the mid-1990s, the Catalyst Endowment Fund in 2009 and the Black Giving Circle Fund in 2018. The Kleins established this individual scholarship fund to support area high school students with a good academic record who actively volunteer in their school or community, or take part in other extracurricular activities, yet demonstrate financial need as they enter a full-time, four-year college program. In addition to their support of the Foundation, they are active in a number of local nonprofits including Hartford Stage, Watkinson School, Riverfront Recapture, The Village for Families and Children and the West End Civic Association.

THE ELIZABETH M. LANDON AND HARRIETTE M. LANDON FUND 

18_The Elizabeth M. Landon and Harriette M. Landon Fund.jpgUnrestricted Fund

Elizabeth M. Landon, a life-long resident of Connecticut, passed away on December 10, 2014. She was predeceased by her mother, Harriette M. Landon, in 1997. Both were descendants of the Merrow family, a name well known in Hartford. Elizabeth Landon pursued a lengthy career in education and was deeply committed to enriching the lives of her students. Outside of the classroom, Elizabeth shared her mother’s love of painting. Harriette Landon studied art in New York and Gloucester, Mass. She was a prolific painter, creating oil paintings of landscapes and portraits. By establishing The Elizabeth M. Landon and Harriette M. Landon Foundation, Elizabeth Landon created a mechanism that would both honor her mother’s memory and support a wide range of charitable causes about which she felt strongly: education, the arts, the sciences, health and human services, community outreach programs and especially animal rescue, protection, training and placement organizations.

ETHEL T. LARUS FUND 

19_Ethel T. Larus Fund cropped.jpgUnrestricted Fund

This unrestricted fund was established through a generous bequest from Ethel (Thompson) Larus. Longtime residents of Avon, Ethel and her beloved husband Charlie retired to Hendersonville, North Carolina. They spent many years traveling the world, including Antarctica, and creating beautiful gardens wherever they lived. Ten years ago, the couple returned to Connecticut to enjoy life with friends at Seabury in Bloomfield.

EDWARD B. LEWIS, III AND ANNE H. LEWIS FUND 

Unrestricted Fund

“Ted” Lewis was born in New York City, graduated from Yale, and served with the U.S. Navy during World War II. Mr. Lewis worked as an investment broker in New York, and was an active volunteer among organizations supporting veterans, children and the mentally ill. Anne H. Lewis was born in Hartford, graduating from the University of Connecticut and Saint Joseph College. She operated the Anne Higgins School of Dance on Park Street in Hartford, teaching tap and ballet. She was also a lover of books, Irish music, dogs and birds. The couple married in 1981. Through their unrestricted fund, the Lewis’ generosity will continue to support the Greater Hartford community.

 

MISAC FUND 

Donor-Advised Fund

Manchester Interfaith Social Action Corporation (MISAC) was formed in 1967. MISAC’s eight members are religious bodies who banded together to build the 191-unit family housing project known as Beechwood Apartments. To occupy a 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom unit, tenants must meet the “moderate income” definition in HUD regulations. Rents are roughly half of the area’s market rates, and MISAC supplies the heat and hot water. Today, Beechwood is fully occupied, with a waiting list. When the HUD mortgage was paid off in 2010, MISAC began to accumulate excess funds. The board has donated more than $700,000 to housing projects in Manchester, all of which have enjoyed success. This donor-advised fund will further affordable housing initiatives in the Manchester area.

SEYMORE AND ANN NEWMAN MEMORIAL FUND 

23_Seymore and Ann Newman Memorial Fund.jpgUnrestricted Fund

Ann Newman was a member of Beth El Synagogue and United Synagogues of Greater Hartford, serving as President of the United Synagogues’ Sisterhood for more than fifty years. A former bookkeeper at Blue Bell Mattress Company, Miss Newman remained devoted to her brother Seymore until her passing in 2012. Seymore Newman was also loved by Hartford’s Jewish community, calling local congregants to ensure daily minyans. He supported both Beth El and United Synagogues. His second career was as an auditor for the State court system, but it was his first career as manager of ushers at the Bushnell that he loved. He passed away in 2016. Their sister Tess passed away at only ten years old. Through this fund, the Greater Hartford community will continue to benefit from the Newmans’ generosity.

SHARON R. O’MEARA FUND 

OMearaS-color2005.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Family and friends came together in 2017 to honor the memory of Sharon O’Meara, Director of Community Investments at the Hartford Foundation. Sharon was a unique and special person—beloved wife, friend and colleague. Sharon was able to do what she loved, helping other nonprofits fulfill their missions and goals. She worked tirelessly to promote Hartford and took every opportunity to enjoy the rich cultural experiences available in the region. Sharon’s fund will support the many charitable causes that were dear to her, including projects that help to alleviate poverty, serve the homeless and protect vulnerable populations.

ORR FAMILY FUND 

Donorscan.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Born and raised in Suffield, Howard Orr has worked tirelessly for the town he loves. Together with his wife, Ann, they have supported many town activities to achieve their shared dream of living in a vibrant community. For three decades, Mr. Orr has served on multiple committees, commissions and boards, all while he works as President of the KTI Group and Ann as a nurse at Saint Francis Hospital. The Orrs are excited to have a donor-advised fund. Their vision is for their children and grandchildren to learn the importance of giving, and they plan to include their family in future decisions. “Our dream is to continue the spirit of giving and volunteerism in our children.”

RICHARD PALMER SCHOLARSHIP FUND 

Palmer.pngScholarship Fund

The Honorable Richard Palmer is a recently appointed board member of the Hartford Foundation. Born and raised in the Greater Hartford area, Justice Palmer graduated from Trinity College and the University of Connecticut School of Law. In addition to his full-time role as a Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, he is a member and co-chair of many judicial committees and nonprofit associations. Justice Palmer began this scholarship fund to help fellow Greater Hartford students attend college.

NEIL H. PFANSTIEL FUND 

Unrestricted Fund

This unrestricted fund was created through a generous bequest from Neil Pfanstiel, who passed away in 2015 at age 98. Born in Vermont, Mr. Pfanstiel moved to Hartford at age nine and graduated from Hartford Public High School, Trinity College and Princeton University. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and eventually served as a Captain in England. After being discharged, he taught at Yale University and then began a career with Aetna that lasted until 1980. In retirement he enjoyed world travel, vacationing in Florida, reading, classical music and socializing with family and friends.

PLAYHOUSE THEATRE GROUP ENDOWMENT FUND 

Designated Fund

Established by board members Gaetano Albani and Richard Rubenstein, the Playhouse Theatre Group Endowment 28_Playhouse Theatre Group Endowment Fund.JPGFund provides a long-term source of funding for the theater and supports its activities for generations to come. Playhouse on Park, a professional nonprofit theater located in West Hartford's Park Road community, first opened its doors in the fall of 2009. It has since become a staple of the Greater Hartford arts scene and a resource for creative artists of all ages.

BRUCE AND DOROTHY B. RALSTON FIELD OF INTEREST FUND 

Field of Interest Fund

Mr. and Mrs. Ralston have worked hard throughout their lifetimes, devoting much of their energy and resources to ensuring others have the basics to live, learn and grow. When Bruce passed away in 2016, Dorothy decided to establish a Field of Interest Fund to continue supporting the types of charities they had both been committed to, even after her death. “I don’t want the funding of the nonprofits that have always been important to us while living to die when we both pass.” This fund will support basic human needs, including housing, food and the physical and mental health of Greater Hartford residents.

SHYAMALA RAMAN SCHOLARSHIP FUND 

Scholarship Fund

Professor Emerita Shyamala Raman, Ph.D., is a well-respected leader and effective advocate in economics, human rights and women’s rights, both locally and globally. As a professor at the University of Saint Joseph, she regularly incorporates real-time events into her lectures. She strongly believes in the importance of continued education, especially study abroad, integrating technology and understanding current events. Her scholarship will help students from the Greater Hartford region be better able to afford a college education. 

HAROLD L. AND MARILYN ROTHSTEIN FUND 

Donor-Advised Fund

Harold Rothstein was known not only as a decorated World War II veteran and beloved husband, but also a generous neighbor. A successful contractor and real estate developer, Mr. Rothstein rehabilitated housing for low-income families in Hartford’s North End, often employing minority- and women-owned firms. When he saw the need for training and career development programs for local residents, he built them. Marilyn Rothstein established a donor-advised fund to honor both her husband’s memory and to continue support of the causes their family has cared about for generations.

STEPHEN M. AND AMY LYNN SILVERMAN FAMILY FUND 

32_Stephen M. and Amy Lynn Silverman Family Fund.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Stephen and Amy Lynn Silverman are long-time residents of West Hartford, active volunteers and donors to many organizations. A number of years ago, they made a commitment to the Hartford Foundation 1925 Society. In 2017 because of Steve’s illness, Amy decided to establish a donor-advised fund at the Hartford Foundation. Not only does this simplify their family giving, it also allows them to engage their two daughters and six granddaughters in the grant-making process, establishing an enduring family tradition of philanthropy. 

CAROL SIMPSON AND BOB HEWEY FUND 

33_Carol Simpson and Bob Hewey Fund.jpgField of Interest Fund

Carol Simpson and Bob Hewey agree, “Hartford has been very good to us. We both worked here; we were married here; we volunteer here; we play here.” In 2017, these Seabury residents decided to pay forward some of what they received. They established a field of interest fund using a Charitable IRA Rollover. Distributions from their IRA will go directly to their fund without being taxed, leaving more money to help area nonprofits. This new fund will support arts in the Greater Hartford region and elementary education in the City of Hartford, two causes dear to their hearts.

SISKIN FAMILY FUND 

Unrestricted Fund

The Siskin Family Fund was established to remember the life and service of Robert S. Siskin. The West Hartford native served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, returning to the area to co-found Siskin, Shapiro & Company, one of Connecticut's largest private accounting firms. Mr. Siskin was active in many philanthropic and professional organizations, often serving as president. He and his wife Caryl later lived in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. This unrestricted fund will help meet many pressing needs in the community.

TOM TUCKER MEMORIAL FUND 

35_Tom Tucker Memorial Fund.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Maureen Gorman of Madison established this donor-advised fund in memory of her husband, Tom Tucker.  In 2017, Tom succumbed to Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare neurological disease that he battled with great dignity for five years.  His career spanned almost 40 years in the insurance industry.  He spent 20 years at Travelers and then led serval divisions at The Hartford.  A survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City, he helped a number of strangers to safety.  This fund will perpetuate Tom’s name and will establish Coaches Awards for students who demonstrate exceptional sportsmanship, dedication, character and contribution to the team – all characteristics that embody who Tom was in all aspects of his personal and professional life. 

GEORGE G. TWITCHELL FUND 

36_George G. Twitchell Fund.jpg

Unrestricted Fund

George Gorgas Twitchell left a generous bequest to the Foundation to establish an unrestricted fund. Born in Hartford and raised in West Hartford, Mr. Twitchell graduated from Hall High School before joining the U.S. Navy, serving in the North Atlantic and South Pacific theaters during World War II. He settled in Boston, met and married Anne Barton, also from West Hartford, and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Twitchell built his career in home building and land development, but his passions ranged from Vermont’s natural resources to poetry, piano, calligraphy and cycling. In 2008, the Twitchells moved to the Seabury Retirement Community, where the talented versifier became a “Words with Friends” champion.

UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF CONNECTICUT (FOR GREATER HARTFORD) SCHOLARSHIP FUND 

37_United Nations Association for Connecticut (for Greater Hartford) Scholarship Fund (logo 2).pngScholarship Fund

This scholarship fund was organized by the United Nations Association of Connecticut. The annual award is given to a Hartford-area student with financial needs, who is interested in diplomacy and international issues and becoming fluent in a foreign language.

WENDY F. VANCE TRAIL FUND 

38_Wendy F. Vance Trail Fund.jpgDesignated Fund

Wendy Vance was an avid hiker who loved the trails of Connecticut. This fund, established in her memory, is designated to help the Connecticut Forest and Park Association maintain and improve walking and hiking trails across the state.

DAVID, ELLIE AND JIM VENNEMAN FAMILY FUND 

39_David, Ellie and Jim Venneman Family Fund-1.jpgUnrestricted Fund

Ellie and Jim Venneman generously established an unrestricted fund to honor the memory of their son, David, who died after a long battle with addiction. The Vennemans chose an unrestricted fund in recognition of how society’s needs are constantly changing. The family appreciates that their fund will be managed by qualified professionals, and distributions will be overseen by a Board of Directors who know where the grants are most needed.

PETER WERTHEIM MEMORIAL FUND 

40_Peter Wertheim Memorial Fund.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Peter Wertheim was born in Hartford and attended Renbrook School in West Hartford and The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville. After graduating from Harvard College and the Columbia Business School, Peter worked as Vice President of Development and Finance for the Hudson Yards Development Corporation. A dedicated public servant, Peter worked in New York City as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. This fund was established by his parents, Allicia and Mark Wertheim, and his husband, Ben Loehnen, to support causes Peter cared about deeply, especially education.

JAY WILLIAMS HONORARY FUND 

Nancy Bernstein.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Nancy Bernstein, president & COO of Women’s Health USA and Women’s Health Connecticut and current Hartford Foundation board member, wanted to make another meaningful gift this year. She established a fund to honor Jay Williams, the President of the Hartford Foundation, who started his position in July 2017.

This fund supports a variety of nonprofit programs, in partnership with a fund advisor.

ZACHS FAMILY FUNDS 

Designated Funds

The Zachs family has long been committed to philanthropy for the betterment of the Greater Hartford Community. To enhance such giving, nine new funds were established at the Hartford Foundation to benefit the following organizations:

1. The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

2. The Connecticut Children's Medical Center

3. The Connecticut Historical Society

4. The Hartford Stage

5. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra

6. Oak Hill

7. The Wadsworth Atheneum

8. Trinity College Hillel

9. UConn Hillel

The Family has also added to already created funds for Charter Oak Cultural Center and Real Art Ways. There are two further unrestricted funds at the Hartford Foundation: the Message Center Beepers Fund and the Henry M. Zachs and Judith M. Zachs Fund. In addition to the Hartford Foundation, the Zachs Family has numerous funds at the Jewish Community Foundation, The UConn Foundation and others.

Special thanks to the individuals, families and organizations that created new funds in 2017 for sharing their photos.

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