New Funds 2018

The following new funds and planned gifts were established in 2018. 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.


Donor-Advised Fund 

Hartford’s Barbour Street runs from Keney Park in the North End to Capen Street in Clay Arsenal, and is home to the Hartford Circus Fire Memorial. It is now also the focus for a grassroots effort to achieve an economic, educational and societal revitalization similar to the Harlem Renaissance. Windsor native and funeral home proprietor Howard K. Hill, founder of The Prosperity Foundation Inc. Fund, and Marcus A. Brown, whose family barber shop is in its second generation, and others in the community started the Barbour Street Renaissance Fund to bring together concerned residents who want to pool their money to preserve Barbour Street’s rich history. The fund empowers participants to be involved in their neighborhood while demonstrating the powerful difference active, local philanthropy can make in a community. 


Designated Fund  

One in eight residents of Hartford and Tolland counties are food insecure, including 34,000 children. Before she passed away last fall, Gladys Dunn created The Gladys B. and Robert E. Dunn Fund for Foodshare to support Foodshare’s mission: to "lead an informed, coordinated response to hunger in our community. “The Dunns have supported Foodshare for many years; Gladys and her late husband, Bob, were deeply committed to helping those in need. “We talked about [setting up this fund at the Foundation] a lot and I think it was on our bucket list to do something aside from travel and the other funds we’ve established,” she said. Foodshare is “well thought of and well managed,” and is “very good at making sure that children have food for lunch in the summer and year-round.” 


Donor-Advised Fund  

Ellen Ash Peters fled Nazi Germany with her parents when she was nine, immigrating to America. Education – she graduated cum laude from Yale Law School – brought her to Connecticut, where she became the first woman to get tenure on Yale Law School’s faculty, then the first woman Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, then Chief Justice. As Chief Justice, she authored the majority opinion in the landmark Sheff v. O’Neill education case. Now retired from the Court, she is an author and visiting professor at the UCONN School of Law. Last year, she established the EHRE Fund – named for her parents, Ernst and Hildegard, her late sister, Renate, and herself – to support a variety of nonprofits in the Greater Hartford area, as advised by herself and her three children. The fund, whose name translates from German as “honor,” is her second at the Hartford Foundation. She started the Dorothea Fund, which supports childrens rights and opportunities for disadvantaged children, in 2003. 



Field of Interest Fund  

An anonymous donor created The Equality Fund to help organizations serving the Greater Hartford region that support and empower individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions to thrive. This Fund supports direct assistance and services for individuals (youth through elders) and families,  targeting key areas, such as basic human needs, education, elder services, health and employment, and programs that address challenges, disparities and barriers


Designated Fund  

Established in 1969 as Center City Churches, Hands On Hartford has been serving the Hartford community for 50 years. In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2018, Hands on Hartford transferred a portion of its charitable funds to establish a nonprofit designated fund at the Hartford Foundation. The Fund ensures that Hands on Hartford’s mission of increasing food security and nutrition, improving health and providing safe, stable, affordable housing will be supported for generations to come. The agency has impacted tens of thousands of lives over the past five decades and is committed to the long-term sustainability of the vital services it provides to its Hartford neighbors. 




Donor-Advised Fund  

A passion for serving the community spurred Albert and Jacqueline Ilg to set up their fund at the Hartford Foundation. During Al’s 30-plus years as town manager of Windsor, and later as interim city manager of Hartford, both Al and Jackie have been committed to doing their part to make where they live a good place for all. Through the Ilg Family Fund, they plan to improve life and provide opportunities for disadvantaged residents in Greater Hartford and beyond. In part, they hope their fund will be able to correct inequities in living conditions in the region and in the world. By naming their daughters as their successor advisors, the Ilgs have ensured that their family remains involved in the Greater Hartford area for decades to come. 


Designated Fund  

The 45-year-old Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC) includes 37 member churches from a variety of denominations in the greater Manchester area. MACC covers community outreach and emergency services, including food, fuel and clothing, and works closely with the community to coordinate services and provide information and referrals to Manchester and Bolton residents. MACC’s endowment began with a legacy gift from Raymond “Sonny” Damato, a lifelong Manchester resident, landlord and entrepreneur known for his generosity through his church and as a sponsor of town events. Through the fund, said Beth Stafford, MACC’s Executive Director, MACC can accept smaller gifts as well as gifts of stock and annuities, which ensures future sustainability. “It’s opening so many doors to talk about MACC.” 


Field of Interest Fund  
Designated Fund  

Gioconda McGettigan (a Manchester native and East Hartford resident) passed away in 2016, but her legacy to the local communities she cared about lives on. A gift from her estate created the Gioconda B. McGettigan Fund and the Gioconda B. McGettigan Fund for St. Rose Church. The former will support programs to benefit the citizens and communities of Manchester and East Hartford. The latter will support St. Rose Church in East Hartford. Mrs. McGettigan, who worked at G. Fox and Co., felt strongly about trying to help local communities. Her generous bequest will enhance the quality of life in East Hartford and Manchester. 


Pooled Scholarship Fund  

Peggy Miller spent more than 20 years working in the New Britain public schools, so her appreciation for the value of an education is nothing new. More recently, she began to appreciate the value and benefit of our community colleges, which offer a more affordable option, the chance to gain academic confidence, and help students who know, or need more time to figure out, their life’s direction. Discovering information about the Foundation’s Community College Scholarship Program spurred Peggy to start the Peggy Miller Community College Scholarship Fund. Her dollars will be pooled with the Foundation’s program, to help students “maximize their potential, whatever that potential is. 


Individual Scholarship Fund  

Twenty years ago, a young Hartford resident graduated from Glastonbury High School and went on to pursue his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, thanks in part to a scholarship he received from the Hartford Foundation. Today, Robert J. Patterson is chair of Georgetown’s Department of African American Studies and a published author. Dr. Patterson established a scholarship fund at the Foundation to give back and help other students achieve their dreams. The scholarship is for a Hartford resident who intends to major in African American studies, the humanities and/or social justice. In June 2018, Dr. Patterson came full circle, addressing Foundation scholarship recipients at the annual reception, telling students and their families “… education affords us access to privileges and these privileges become ours, and our responsibility to share.” 



Donor-Advised Fund  

Dina Plapler and Earl McMahon have been involved as volunteers and supporters of many local non-profit organizations since moving to the Hartford area after meeting at Georgetown Law School. Earl has enjoyed a long career as a business attorney at the Hartford law firm of Reid and Riege. Dina has worked as a litigation attorney and, more recently, as the head of fund development at several leading non-profits, including the Wadsworth Atheneum; the Hartford Stage; the Mark Twain House and Museum; and UConn Health. She currently heads the advancement department at Kingswood Oxford School. Dina and Earl are very grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that has so enriched their lives, the lives of their two sons, David and Steven, and so many others. 


Donor-Advised Fund  

City landscape architect Richard Robbins’ work touched many parts of life in Hartford – from war memorials to playscapes to the ponds in its parks. Through the donor-advised fund he established at the Hartford Foundation last year, Richard plans to continue those efforts. While in the city’s Parks Department, Richard wrote grant applications and received grants for Hartford from the Foundation, so he was familiar with its work. Richard expects his love of the outdoors to play a part in his grantmaking decisions; he particularly likes the idea of children involved with outdoor classrooms and nature studies. 


Unrestricted Fund  

Caroline and John Rohrbach’s interest in the Hartford Foundation reflected their longstanding commitment to participating in, and supporting, the Greater Hartford community. John served as chairman of the Hartford Rehabilitation Center and on the boards of the Protestant Campus Ministry, Alzheimer's Association/ Connecticut and Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford. Caroline was a leader in the Connecticut Valley Garden Club and a strong supporter of the Knox Park Foundation's Hartford area greening programs. Both were committed members of the 1892 Club and the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, and supporters of the Hartford Symphony, the Hartford Stage Company and the Wadsworth Atheneum. They recognized the Hartford Foundation as an essential force for broader community giving. Their legacy gift was used to create an unrestricted fund that will support programs in the Greater Hartford region for years to come. 


Donor-Advised Fund  

Wethersfield resident Alice Gold has a number of connections to the Hartford Foundation, particularly through her work with the Hartford School Garden Council. Those ties, combined with her family’s history of philanthropy, led her to create the Ross Memorial Fund at the Foundation to honor her parents, Barbara and Chester Ross. Her parents were very philanthropic and that, she said, is “a tradition that I like to carry on.” She plans to focus her grantmaking primarily on education, nutrition and environmental issues in the Greater Hartford region, with the goal of helping to find regional solutions. The city and the suburbs do not exist in a vacuum, she said; “Improving the quality of life for the region helps everyone. 



Donor-Advised Fund  

Mike Bonzagni and Ann Thomas have been active members in the Catalyst Endowment Fund since 1998, and established an individual scholarship fund in 2016. Last year, they created the Ann E. Thomas and Michael B. Bonzagni Fund to help plan, manage and grow their charitable giving more efficiently and effectively. Their main areas of interest include conservation and the environment, issues affecting women and girls, and the social services safety net. 


Designated Fund  

Connecticut families have enjoyed Winding Trails’ 380 acres of woods and waterways in Farmington, Conn. for more than 65 years for summer camp, educational wildlife programs and more. Long-time volunteer Arthur Curry, who set up the Winding Trails Endowment in 2018, said, “I believe … in the environmental programs and the chance for kids to go to a place like this … it’s just a wonderful recreation area for kids.” The fund will support environmental programs and initiatives, capital projects like the new boathouse pavilion and camp scholarships in perpetuity. 


Donor-Advised Fund  

Andrew and Kathy Worthington have been part of the Hartford Foundation for 13 years. They are members of the Catalyst Endowment Fund, Latino Endowment Fund and the Black Giving Circle Fund. Andrew is a current Board member and chairs the Foundation's Development Committee. The Worthingtons learned about the current issues and needs in the Greater Hartford community, and became familiar with the people and agencies working to find solutions. The Worthington Family Fund continues their journey of philanthropy. As a donor-advised fund, they will support the causes that are important to them, including animal-related causes that give a voice to the voiceless. The fund also allows them to plan for, and be strategic with, their long-term future giving – for themselves, their children and beyond. 



Donor-Advised Fund  

Avon resident Connor Scott Zieky was only 27 when he unexpectedly passed away in November 2018. Connor, who loved hockey, fishing and music, had a zest for life, a sense of adventure and a mischievous smile that lit up the room. His family chose to honor his memory by creating a fund at the Hartford Foundation that will benefit youth-based programs, scholarships and the homeless whom Connor so deeply cared about. The joy Connor brought to his family and friends will spread to others because of these thoughtful remembrances. 

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