Salvatore an Linda Taiano Coppola Family Fund
Sal and Linda Coppola currently live on Garden Rd. in Orange, CT. However, their hearts and roots will forever remain in Derby. So much so, that despite their move to Orange in 1993, they have continued to attend weekly services at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church on Elizabeth St. Both Sal and Linda’s families immigrated from Italy – Sal’s from Ruviano and Sicily and Linda’s from Puglianello and Calabria. Sal and Linda were born and raised in Derby; Sal attended Lincoln Elementary and Linda attended St. Mary School, met at Derby High School, and became high school sweethearts who later married in 1974.
Linda has spent her entire life working with children. For 36 years, she was employed in the Derby Public Schools, both as a teacher at Irving School and later as the Principal at Bradley School. Upon her retirement in 2010, she and Sal began to explore different options of giving back to their community. As an educator, Linda knows first-hand the economic challenges that classroom teachers face – especially being able to take students on educational field trips. To address this issue and to help offset the rising costs of transportation for special programs, Sal and Linda have created the Salvatore and Linda Tiano Coppola Family Fund – a Donor Advised Fund at the Valley Community Foundation.
“We chose VCF for several reasons,” said Linda. “They are a local and uncomplicated philanthropic vehicle that met our giving needs. In just a few short years, they have become well established in the community and have a strong reputation for solid returns on investments.” Sal agreed. “VCF is accessible – we know who they are, and who to go to if any questions arise. Best of all, the money stays here – we know that it is helping those who need it most in the Valley.”
Linda’s retirement has been short lived. In 2010, she came back to Derby to take the helm as principal at St. Mary’s/ St. Michael’s parochial school on Seymour Avenue. “I had been considering retiring for several months, so when this position became available, I jumped at the chance to come back and work with these students,” she said.
Sal and Linda wanted to create this Fund during their lifetimes so they could continue to monitor and grow it for years to come. “The best part of creating a Fund like this is that it is a legacy that will always be there long after we are gone,” said Linda. “We really wanted to help all of Derby’s youth – scout groups, school groups, sports teams – whoever needs it the most. There is truly no place like the Valley – for its spirit of caring and community. We are truly proud to be a part of it – we never have forgotten where we came from. When you’ve lived here all your life, it’s simply the best.”