Leah Rondon Fund

Est. 2017 by Collen and Henry Rondon.
Leah Rondon
Leah Rondon.

Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when that loved one is a young child. After a tragic accident took the life of six-year old Leah Rondon, her parents, Henry and Colleen, received a tremendous amount of love and support from the community. The Rondons soon began to explore ways to ensure Leah's legacy and the memory of her vivacious personality could be shared with others.

"Leah was a tiny little thing but she was never shy and always made friends wherever she went," said Colleen. "She loved the arts, sports, school, and was extremely kind-hearted."

Since Leah's sudden passing in 2015, the family has organized several Dragonfly Dash 5k races in Ansonia and has been amazed by the level of participation. After raising several thousand dollars to support Ansonia's youth, a family friend who was familiar with the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) spoke to Henry and Colleen about establishing a fund in Leah's memory at the Foundation.

"My friend first spoke on our behalf with the staff at VCF. After a few meetings with VCF President and CEO Sharon Closius, we decided to set up a donor advised fund," Colleen said. "It gave us the flexibility to recommend distributions without having to set up a nonprofit of our own. For us, we particularly liked how the money stays right here and, after all, nobody knows the Valley like the Valley."

While the Rondons say they could never repay friends, family, and Valley residents for their overwhelming generosity and support, they now have an opportunity to give back to the community in their daughter's memory.

"We are hopeful that we can work with the schools and teachers in Ansonia each year to determine enrichment experiences we can help provide that the students otherwise wouldn't be able to receive," Colleen said. "It's a great way of honoring our special little girl."

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Leah Rondon Fund