Dr. Beth A. Smith Fund
Est. in 2018 as a donor-advised fund by Dr. Beth A. Smith.
Dr. Beth Smith has spent more than three decades in the field of education. During this time she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, and interim superintendent. Beth developed a reputation for putting her students first, always encouraging them to do their best. While knowledge is powerful so too is the impact of one’s legacy.
After her sister-in-law passed away from cancer at a young age, Beth began to seriously consider her own end-of-life planning. She decided she wanted to help the community that has meant so much to her when she is no longer here. It is often a topic many people avoid but for Beth, it led her down a path to creating the Dr. Beth A. Smith Fund at the Valley Community Foundation (VCF). “I have a great friendship with VCF President and CEO Sharon Closius,” Beth said. “After we talked about this and my charitable ambitions, I decided that creating a fund with VCF was the right thing to do.”
Beth has been long aware of VCF but came to know how community foundations can create local impact when Shelton High School entrusted VCF with the management and administration of its scholarship program in 2014. Beth was Headmaster of Shelton High School at the time and worked closely with Sharon on the transfer of the scholarship funds, which totaled nearly half a million dollars.
When it came time for Beth to create her own fund, she discussed her ambitions with her family and explained what was important to her and why.
“I structured this fund in a way that is unique to me, which will ultimately go on to support the organizations that have helped mold me into the person that I am today,” Beth said. “My faith is extremely important to me and I want to help those that assisted in my faith formation so they can continue to help others. Growing up I was fortunate to have had an amazing educational experience and spent my career in education and want others to have those opportunities.
I’ve served in the role of teacher, assistant principal, principal, supervisor, director, and interim superintendent for 35 years so I chose a non-profit that benefits children of all ages.” She has also chosen a non-profit organization that she currently supports, the Marginal Way Preservation Fund, a conservation organization in Maine, where she retreats to a condo in an area she describes as her happy place.
“Regardless of age, everyone should think about what causes are important,” Beth advised. “Each one of us should consider how to support the organizations that matter most to us while we are alive in order to plan how to support them long after we are gone. You can actively participate in the decision-making process and know your wishes will be followed. People should realize how easy it is to set up a fund like this and how it often starts with a simple conversation.”
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