New Funds 2016

The following new funds and planned gifts were established in 2016. 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. 49 Fund 

Donor-Advised Fund

Established by a longtime Hartford area resident, this anonymous donor-advised fund will support a variety of programs, including culture and the arts, medical research, and immigrant support services. Her generosity will support the diverse and ever changing needs of the Greater Hartford community.

Anonymous No. 50 Fund 
Shyaam Bachman Memorial Scholarship Fund 

new-funds-2016-shyaam.jpgScholarship Fund

This fund was created in memory of Shyaam Bachman. Shyaam was an honor student at Farmington High School, a gifted scholar athlete, a four-year presidential scholar at Hampton University and, later, a dedicated science teacher who touched the lives of many students. In a moving video tribute, his father quotes Shyaam’s life motto: “Do what you love, be the best person you can be, and in some small way try to bring peace to your world.” Shyaam believed in the power of education, and particularly the sciences, to empower young people to achieve their dreams. This memorial scholarship fund will support young African-American men with financial need who have graduated from a high school in the Greater Hartford region and are planning to major in a science-related field.

Stephen Benedetto Fund 
Michael Sundra photo

Donor-Advised Fund

“When you have lived a fortunate life, not extravagant, but fortunate, it is incumbent upon you to reach out to those who may not have enjoyed that same fortune or opportunity.” This is why Mr. Benedetto established his donor-advised fund at the Hartford Foundation. Now retired, Mr. Benedetto was vice president at the Connecticut Development Authority where he served for 31 years. He has lived in Greater Hartford his entire life and has seen the incredible impact that nonprofits have had in the community, opening up doors and opportunities for those who may not have had access if not for these organizations. His fund will support the many nonprofits in the area so that they can continue to provide services to those in need, now and into the future.

Fund in Honor of David Borden 

new-funds-2016-borden.jpgDesignated Fund

This fund was established by the law clerks who worked with Justice David Marshall Borden and wished to honor his incredible legacy. Justice Borden passed away in 2016 at the age of 79. He was born and raised in Hartford where he graduated from Weaver High School, then went on to Amherst College and Harvard Law School, graduating with high honors. He entered the professional world in 1958 in the Washington, .D.C. office of then Senator John F. Kennedy, working as an intern for two summers.  Upon graduating from law school in 1962, he returned to Hartford to practice law with his father at their firm, Borden and Borden, which later merged with another firm to become Rogin, Nassau, Caplan, Glassman and Borden. In the 1960s David Borden led the Commission to Revise Connecticut’s Criminal Statutes and was the principal architect of Connecticut’s Penal Code. David Borden first became Judge Borden in 1977 when Governor Ella Grasso appointed him to the Connecticut Court of Common Pleas which merged with the Superior Court a year later. In 1983 Governor William O'Neill appointed Judge Borden as one of the original five judges to sit on the Connecticut Appellate Court, and seven years later to the Connecticut Supreme Court, where he served for 17 distinguished years, including his final year as acting chief justice. He was an active public servant and advocate, tirelessly reforming eyewitness identification practices and juvenile sentencing. He sat on numerous boards of directors, including the Justice Education Center for 28 years, and he was a board director of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving until his death. He received the Raymond E. Baldwin Public Service Award in 1997. To honor Justice Borden’s passionate commitment to social justice, this fund will support the Justice Education Center.   

Jim and Anne Carroll Fund 

Donor-Advised Fund

When asked, “Why did you decide to start a fund?” the Carrolls pause for a moment of thought – “It was a combination of attaining success in our business, and wanting to give back.” Although running a successful business requires a level of seriousness and making tough decisions, the Carrolls are kind and generous people among their friends and communities. Jim shared that Anne always asks him not to give her gifts for Christmas so he decided what better gift to give someone who spends her life giving to others than to give her money and the suggestion that she start a family foundation? In the end, establishing a donor-advised fund to use as a vehicle for their formal philanthropy was the right fit. The Carrolls are pleased to be working with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving which has such a long-standing reputation for doing good!

Grace D. Cassell Fund 

Field of Interest Fund

Sisters Teresa M. D’Esopo, Carmela “Millie” D’Esopo, and Grace D’Esopo Cassell were vibrant members of their communities. Members of one of Hartford’s oldest Italian American Families, the sisters were active with their church and were extensively involved in civic organizations in the area and in the McAuley retirement community. Teresa and Carmela were lovers of music, opera and the arts. Their bequest will support programs that offer music education and enrichment opportunities to children. Grace’s generous bequest will be used for children’s educational programs.

Covenant Preparatory School Endowment Fund 

new-funds-2016-covenant.jpgDesignated Fund

Mark and Joanne Niland established this fund to support the Covenant Preparatory School in Hartford. Joanne has been an active volunteer with the school since it opened in 2008, and Mark currently serves as board treasurer. Covenant Prep’s mission is to provide young men from underserved communities the foundation required to successfully pursue higher education, to develop the strength of their character and to inspire them to live with integrity as leaders committed to their communities. The school partners with students, families, staff and volunteers to form a pact, or covenant, to fulfill the school’s mission. Covenant Prep receives no federal dollars and is fully funded by individual donors, foundations, corporate sponsorships and grants.

Vinel Edward Dent Memorial Fund 

Field of Interest Fund

Mr. Dent had a long and distinguished career in New York City. He was co-founder and president of Medicus Communications, the world's largest medical advertising agency. He was also chairman of Science and Medicine Publishing Company, and Cinemed Systems.  Mr. Dent cared about the welfare of children.  His legacy gift will benefit underprivileged children and youth with special emphasis on providing opportunities in connection with music and art education, performance, and enjoyment.

Teresa and Carmela D'Esopo Fund 

Field of Interest Fund

Sisters Teresa M. D’Esopo, Carmela “Millie” D’Esopo, and Grace D’Esopo Cassell were vibrant members of their communities. Members of one of Hartford’s oldest Italian American Families, the sisters were active with their church and were extensively involved in civic organizations in the area and in the McAuley retirement community. Teresa and Carmela were lovers of music, opera and the arts. Their bequest will support programs that offer music education and enrichment opportunities to children. Grace’s generous bequest will be used for children’s educational programs.

Elena Haynes DeVaughn, Ph.D. Fund 

new-funds-2016-devaughn.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Drs. Booker and Elena DeVaughn have devoted much of their lives to education. Dr. Booker DeVaughn’s entire professional career has been as a teacher, a college counselor, a community college academic dean and a community college president from which he retired. Dr. Elena DeVaughn started as a registered nurse whose clinical experiences ranged from emergency room nursing to coronary care nursing. Spending a decade as a civilian nurse and later as a Navy nurse at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, she saw the scarcity of diversity in the nursing profession. After becoming a public school teacher and eventually a community college administrator, she and her husband continued to notice the dearth of African Americans in the registered nursing profession and medical fields in the Northeast. Decades later neither of the DeVaughns has seen a significant change in the number of black young men and women entering the registered nursing field. The desire to change this reality was the motivator for Elena and Booker to establish this fund to support the development of a pipeline of African-American students into the registered nursing field and other professional health care fields. The DeVaughns’ fund will also support African-American students at all stages of their education, from elementary through college, who are pursuing studies in any of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Through this fund, the DeVaughns have left a legacy that will bring opportunities for African-American students to be represented in the professional health care field and to pursue the studies of math and the sciences.

Drew Charles Goulet Memorial Scholarship Fund 

new-funds-2016-goulet.jpgScholarship Fund

Tony Tran and Victor Bilgen created this scholarship fund to honor their high school friend, Drew Charles Goulet. This fund creates a legacy in Drew’s name, supporting his work ethic and commitment to the rights and lives of others. Believing that the cost of tuition should never stop young people from achieving their aspirations, the fund aims to provide financial assistance to college-bound students in the Greater Hartford area who have been actively working to improve the lives of those in their communities. “The Drew Charles Goulet Memorial Scholarship is more than an award for academic success; it is a light to illuminate the path for a better future.”

Greater Hartford Jaycees Fund 


Donor-Advised Fund

The Greater Hartford chapter of the Jaycees, The United States Junior Chamber, established this fund to further their vision of being active participants in solving the systemic problems they see in their communities. This donor-advised fund will allow the Greater Hartford membership to support the nonprofits in our region they believe are offering targeted, innovative and sustainable solutions, putting in action their mission to be active agents for good in their communities.

Alyce F. and David H. Hild Fund 

new-funds-2016-hild.jpgField of Interest Fund

The Hilds have deep philanthropic roots in the Greater Hartford community. Mrs. Hild is the co-founder of Loaves and Fishes Ministries, one of Hartford’s oldest soup kitchens, which also provides services designed to help families in crisis with their immediate needs and to transition them into more stable circumstances. To that end, Dr. and Mrs. Hild established this fund to support early education for low-income children in the Greater Hartford region. Through their philanthropy, the Hilds will help ensure that many children who may not have had access to educational opportunities at the early stages of their development will also get the chance to benefit from these programs.

Historical Society of Glastonbury Endowment Fund 


Designated Fund

Founded in 1936 by concerned citizens who united to save the Gideon Welles house from destruction, the Historical Society of Glastonbury strives to educate through the preservation and promotion of Glastonbury's extraordinary historical legacy. It carries out its mission by preserving, owning, maintaining and operating multiple historic properties, holding public events, providing education and other services. This endowed fund provides ongoing support to the Society, ensuring their work of education and preservation continues to enrich the lives of both residents and non-residents alike.

ImmaCare Endowment Fund 


Designated Fund

The dedicated board, staff and volunteers at ImmaCare, Inc. have been working to eliminate homelessness in the Hartford region for more than 35 years. Recognizing that homelessness is a multi-layered issue, they have evolved into an organization providing solutions through permanent supportive housing, emergency shelter, mobile outreach and case management to thousands of people in the Greater Hartford region. This endowed fund will support ImmaCare as it pursues its mission to provide services designed to help individuals experiencing homelessness overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of securing and maintaining safe and affordable housing while becoming integrated members of their communities.

Linda J. Kelly Family Scholarship Fund 
Photo by John Stearns, Hartford Business Journal.

Scholarship Fund

Linda J. Kelly served as president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for 11 years (2005-17). During her tenure, she led the Foundation through a time of impressive and meaningful growth and community impact. A leader in the nonprofit sector, Ms. Kelly has been engaged in the Hartford community for more than 40 years. She worked in the public and private sectors before taking the helm at the Hartford Foundation, including stints as a commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control, state deputy commissioner of banking, and senior executive positions at then-Shawmut Bank Connecticut.

Taking care of those in need and giving back to the community are commitments that have shaped Ms. Kelly’s professional and personal life. Before she retired from the Foundation, Ms. Kelly added to her philanthropic legacy and the unrestricted fund she set up in 2007 by creating a scholarship fund that will help deserving students in the Greater Hartford region achieve their educational dreams.

Melissa Joy Molin Memorial Fund 

new-funds-2016-melissa-joy.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

Allen and Laura Molin established this fund in memory of their beloved daughter Melissa Joy who passed away unexpectedly as the result of an automobile accident during a winter snowstorm. A graduate of Hall High School, she was a senior at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire. Melissa had a unique gift with children and had completed her BS in Psychology to pursue a career helping children with special needs. In her memory this fund will continue Melissa’s legacy of helping the most vulnerable. A legacy of love and friendship, of reaching out to others, of being “a friend to all she met."

Arnold W. Nelson, Barbara O. Nelson and June Billingham Nelson Fund 

Unrestricted Fund

There is no template for philanthropy, and philanthropists come from everywhere. They are our friends and neighbors. Arnold was a steel salesman, Barbara was a stay-at-home mom, and June was a teacher and school administrator. Arnold and Barbara’s son, John Nelson, says his family members were frugal people who were influenced by the Depression and believed not only in saving for the future, but in giving back and helping others. The Nelsons’ generous bequest creates an unrestricted fund that will support the many needs of the Greater Hartford community, honoring the memories of these three philanthropists and their family.

Oak Hill Endowment Fund 

Designated Fund

Oak Hill logo

The circle of care that is delivered at Oak Hill involves a continuum of services that helps guide people with disabilities to increased independence and better health, over time. Oak Hill’s network supports people of all ages—from birth to seniors, and programs are in place for all levels of need. They are focused on what matters—building on a foundation to maintain value-driven, person-centered services and dedication to educating and advocating for people with disabilities. The Oak Hill Foundation created this endowment fund to support the mission, which is to set the standard, partnering with people with disabilities to provide services and solutions promoting independence, education, health and dignity.

Pomeroy-Brace Funds  

new-funds-2016-pomeroy.jpgScholarship Fund | Unrestricted Fund

Seth Pomeroy Holcombe and Lucy Eaton Holcombe lived in North Granby for over 30 years. Both Lucy and Seth were active in their community, enthusiastically supporting the culture and history of the town they loved. Above and beyond the many boards and committees on which they each served, Seth and Lucy shared a passion for Morgan horses, giving a home to many horses over the years and assisting in the founding of the Granby Horse Council. To continue their life of giving back, Seth and Lucy left a gift to establish an unrestricted fund that will continue their good works supporting many organizations in their beloved Granby and in the Greater Hartford area. They also established a scholarship fund to benefit aspirational students with financial need.

JoAnn Price Fund 


Unrestricted Fund

In 2016, JoAnn H. Price, chair of the Hartford Foundation board of directors, established an unrestricted fund to enable the Foundation to respond to the changing social, educational, and cultural needs of our community.

A longtime champion of children and families and of inclusion and equity, Ms. Price has dedicated much of her career to addressing issues of gender and ethnic diversity in business. She moved to Connecticut in 1994 to found Fairview Capital Partners, which has become the nation’s premier minority- and woman-led asset management firm specializing in alternative investments. 

Her philanthropic work spans many local and national nonprofit organizations.  She serves on the boards of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Hartford Communities that Care, Greater Hartford YMCA and Wilson Gray YMCA, to name a few. In addition, she is a member of the Howard University Board of Visitors, and a board member of the Apollo Theater Foundation in New York City. Ms. Price is also a member of the Connecticut Board of Regents and serves as an ordained deacon at Union Baptist Church in Hartford.

Herbert J. Prouty Fund 

Unrestricted Fund

Upon the termination of his trust, the Herbert J. Prouty Fund was established at the Hartford Foundation to help the Foundation address needs of the Greater Hartford area.  Mr. Prouty was a resident of West Hartford and cared deeply about the region. We are grateful to Mr. Prouty for his generosity and foresight in leaving a lasting legacy for our community.

Neal R. Seigel Memorial Scholarship Fund 

Scholarship Fund

Jerome and Ann Seigel established this fund in memory of their son Neal. Neal graduated from William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, and then from Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a degree in architecture. Neal was passionate about art and design and he had the good fortune to work on historic restoration projects in New Orleans. This fund supports graduates of William H. Hall High School who are planning to major in arts or architecture.

Aubrey M. Seppa Memorial Scholarship Fund 

Scholarship Fund

Aubrey was a young woman with a “passionate heart, a wise old soul.” She was a beloved member of her family and a reliable friend to all she met. The consummate overachiever, Aubrey graduated from the Connecticut River Academy in East Hartford, where she also took classes at Goodwin College, and was completing her sophomore year at Central Connecticut State University as a first-year student. Aubrey’s open and accepting heart, coupled with her love of writing, prompted her to start a blog that encouraged others to be “their best selves,” accepting and non-judgmental. To share her desire to learn and help others, the Aubrey M. Seppa Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to help support those students of the Connecticut River Academy who possess the same drive to succeed in post-graduate studies that Aubrey did.

Haig Shahverdian Scholarship Fund 

Scholarship Fund

For over 40 years, Haig Shahverdian, director of bands at Hall High School, has committed his professional and personal time to the West Hartford community and to Hall High School’s Pops N Jazz program in particular. Haig's ensembles have been nationally recognized and have performed at the White House and with many jazz greats, including Wynton Marsalis. In 1998 Haig became supervisor of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts for West Hartford Public Schools and was instrumental in the establishment of a nonprofit organization known as Gifts of Music, which partners low-income students with teachers from the Community Division of the Hartt School of Music, for weekly instrumental lessons.

To honor Mr. Shahverdian’s accomplishments, a fund has been established in his name to provide scholarships to graduating seniors who have excelled in the performing arts, particularly in the Pops N Jazz program.   

James B. and Julie Hovey Slimmon, Jr. Fund 

Unrestricted Fund

Philanthropy at the Hartford Foundation for the Slimmon family dates back to James B. Slimmon Sr. who established the James B. and Beatrice D. Slimmon Fund in 1978.  Following in his father’s footsteps, James B. and his wife, Julie Hovey Slimmon, established two funds: an unrestricted fund to provide support to the Foundation for pressing community needs, and a field of interest fund that will support programs that provide arts education to elementary school-age children in the Greater Hartford region.

The Slimmon family’s years of involvement and generous support of the Greater Hartford community will continue on through the two endowment funds that they created.  

Slimmon Fund for Arts Education 

Field of Interest Fund

Philanthropy at the Hartford Foundation for the Slimmon family dates back to James B. Slimmon Sr. who established the James B. and Beatrice D. Slimmon Fund in 1978.  Following in his father’s footsteps, James B. and his wife, Julie Hovey Slimmon, established two funds: an unrestricted fund to provide support to the Foundation for pressing community needs, and a field of interest fund that will support programs that provide arts education to elementary school-age children in the Greater Hartford region.

The Slimmon family’s years of involvement and generous support of the Greater Hartford community will continue on through the two endowment funds that they created.  

Howard and Mary Alice Spencer Fund 

Unrestricted Fund

The Foundation received a generous trust distribution to establish the Howard and Mary Alice Spencer Fund, an unrestricted fund. The late W. Howard "Howie" Spencer and his late wife, Mary Alice Spencer, were Bloomfield residents. Mr. Spencer graduated summa cum laude from Kingswood School in 1932 and received a degree from Yale in 1936. He was the assistant treasurer with Cushman Chuck Company for many years and later an officer in the Development Department at Trinity College. Mrs. Spencer was a well-loved dance teacher for over 35 years in the Hartford area and was very active in many local clubs. Their legacy will continue on through the fund that carries their family’s name.

Prasad Srinivasan Family Fund 


Field of Interest Fund

Dr. Prasad Srinivasan and Mrs. Kala Prasad believe in supporting their community in their professional lives, in their civic lives and on a personal level. Victims of domestic violence and their families face significant challenges to escape their circumstances, to overcome the mental and physical damage of abuse, and to start again. The Prasad Srinivasan Family Fund will support organizations in the Greater Hartford region that support the prevention, education and treatment of domestic violence.  

Toward a Sustainable Future Fund 

new-funds-2016-sustainable.jpgDonor-Advised Fund

A local couple, active in community relocalization, promotion of local agriculture, conservation and urban revitalization, has created this fund, which aims to promote cultural and societal change toward a sustainable human society within the natural world. The Toward a Sustainable Future Fund will support projects focusing on community relocalization efforts; promotion of natural systems through preservation; stewardship and Rights of Nature advocacy; and advocacy work focused on the inhabitants of the natural community, including plants, wildlife and domestic animals.

Valley Falls Farm Fund 

Designated Fund

This endowment fund was created to support the Friends of Valley Farms in their efforts to promote the betterment of Valley Falls Park and Valley Falls Farm in Vernon. The area, considered to be the most scenic in Vernon, is known as “Vernon’s Jewel.” These sites share a rich historical background and are popular recreational destinations. This endowed fund will help to ensure that these historic and scenic properties are maintained and preserved for residents and their families to enjoy for many years.

Special thanks to the individuals, families and organizations that created new funds in 2016 for sharing their photos.


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