John and Laura Zaprzalka Family Fund

Est. 2014 as a Donor Advised fund.

Zaprzalka family
John and Laura Zaprzalka and family. Contributed.

Once the Valley captures your heart, you want to give back to it, acknowledging how much your life has been enriched by this community. Just ask John and Laura Zaprzalka, who have established the John and Laura Zaprzalka Family Fund at the Valley Community Foundation.

"We really wanted to do something to support the Valley," said Laura. "It's been a great place to live and raise our family. Creating this Fund will help us to work toward our goal." Laura was born in New York and lived in a few states before settling in Cheshire, CT. After college, she began working at Apicella, Testa and Company, an accounting firm in the Valley, where she met John. They were married a few years later and, after living in Shelton a short while, set up their home in Seymour.

As a former New Yorker, Laura didn't understand the closeness of Valley residents. She was amazed that neighbors not only knew one another but even knew each others' extended families. She came to realize how comfortable she felt in the community and knew it was a special place.

"I never felt like anywhere was truly my home," she said. "But I now feel that way here in the Valley. I appreciate its intimacy, people's generosity of spirit and their desire to help one another."

Raised in Shelton, John and his siblings took advantage of the many opportunities offered in the Valley: afternoons during the school year at the Boys and Girls Club; summers swimming atthe Derby Recreation Camp; Boy Scouts; Little League and too many others to note.

"In these organizations, I would find many Valley individuals who gave of themselves by volunteering their time, money and talents, giving to make the community a better place to live, work and play," said John. Through his years of service first as Board member and then as Board Chair for VCF, John has learned firsthand the benefits of community foundations.

"I firmly believe in the community foundation model," said John. "Especially its sense of place based philanthropy - being able to give back to the community we care so much about. Creating this Fund allows us to establish our family's giving patterns so they will continue long after we are gone." Laura agreed. "We feel so fortunate to do our part to help the Valley, both now and in years to come."

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John and Laura Zaprzalka Family Fund