Valley Pride Fund

Est. 2013 as a donor advised fund by Elise, Garofalo, Brian Marcucio and Brian Piccolo.

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy utters those five unforgettable words, "There's no place like home!" For four former Derby residents, truer words were never spoken - especially about their lives growing up together in the Valley. The Garofalo, Marcucio and Piccolo families were friends long before Elise, Brian, Scott and Brian were born.

So it is no wonder that these childhood friends have proudly continued to grow their friendship into adulthood. Of course there have been significant milestones along the way - sports and academic achievements, weddings, children and successful careers. The latest milestone they have shared together was turning the big 4-0 in 2013. Not only did they do the traditional celebratory "big bash" - but the four decided to give back to the place they fondly call home even after all this time - by creating the Valley Pride Fund at the Valley Community Foundation.

"My family has had a great experience with the VCF," said Elise. "In 2007, my brother Marc, the former Mayor of Derby, created the Derby Sister City Fund at the Foundation, which celebrated the connection between Derby and its sister city in Puglianello, Italy. Then again in 2012, my family decided to honor my father's legacy by creating the Mario Garofalo Family Fund to support youth activities for children from Derby and throughout the Valley to give them a chance to experience things they otherwise would not have the opportunity to do. I talked it over with everyone and we all agreed that what we really wanted was to celebrate our milestone by giving back to help Valley families by supporting education programs and/or providing scholarship support."

Brian M., Scott M. and Brian P. agreed. "When Elise first suggested it, we were all on board. We've had such great times growing up in the Valley. From trips to Roseland Pizza, to hanging out at the Valley Cinema and McDonald's every weekend to spending summer days on end on Selma Ave, there is a closeness that is still there. Derby's a very small town which made it easy to forge very close bonds with friends and families, and the Valley has always been and always will be important to us all," said Brian M. "We've all moved around and experienced so many other people in our lives and you realize not everyone has that same special connection with home or the people they grew up with like we did. That's when we truly appreciated what we had growing up in the Valley and what it still to this day means to us. By establishing this Fund at VCF we hope to continue the Valley tradition of helping others and do our part to help keep our childhood home the special place it will always be."

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Valley Pride Fund