Samuel Rifkin Memorial Fund

Est. 2000 as a Donor Advised fund by gifts in memory of Samuel Rifkin.

Established with gifts at the time of Sam Rifkin's death in 2001, Founding Board Member David Rifkin, Sam's son, added to the donor advised fund and requested its transfer to the new Foundation. David Rifkin speaking about his father, Sam, "If you believe in it, you need to contribute to it."

Those are the words of Dave Rifkin, who, like his late father Sam, believes in the Valley. And so, like his father, he contributes. Not just his time and his energy to high-powered volunteer activities on the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce or the Valley United Way, but by establishing an endowed fund that will give back to the community for years to come.

"My father and mother were very involved in giving back to the community and supporting philanthropic causes," says Dave, who in 2000, following his father's death, approached the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven to set up the Sam Rifkin Memorial Fund in honor of his father. Later, in 2005, he transferred the endowed fund to the newly formed Valley Community Foundation.

"Being involved and giving back was his legacy," says Dave, speaking of the man who was a charter member of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Community Chest before it became the Valley United Way; the man who in the 1960s formed a father's club at Dave's high school to raise funds for the athletics department. It was the beginning of what has become a fundraising powerhouse.

"It started with just my dad and a few other interested parents," says Dave, remarking how his father was always involved in multiple activities, both professionally and personally. "If he saw there was need, he'd try to ?nd a way to solve it."

The Fund has been set up to ?rst support renovation of the Sterling Opera House in derby—a place his father once worked—if that project gets underway. It will also contribute to other Valley charitable organizations as decided by Dave and his family.