The Gates Society is a close circle of friends who share a special love and appreciation for this region, and who have named the Valley Community Foundation or one of its funds in their estate plans.

A Planned Giving Community

You can provide for your heirs through your estate plan and create a lasting legacy for the Valley. Your planned gift will impact what you are passionate about and make a difference regardless of the amount. The Gates Society is the Valley Community Foundation’s (VCF’s) planned giving community.

Joining is simple. All it takes is for someone to let us know that they plan to remember VCF in their estate, regardless of the fund, amount or percentage.

The Society is named in honor of Ross and Frank Gates, brothers of the last generation of a prominent Derby family, who created trusts in their family name to benefit charitable causes they were passionate about. The trusts established The Gates Fund with our partner in philanthropy, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and specified that in the selection of beneficiaries due consideration be given “…to the benefit of the inhabitants in the vicinity of Derby, Connecticut…” Created over a half a century ago, the Gates Fund continues to distribute substantial resources for the benefit of Valley communities, and beyond.

Today, a person doesn’t need to set up a trust to support a charitable cause after their lifetime. Whether your gift is endowed or for current use, there are many ways to establish a legacy of giving forever by making a planned gift using the Valley Community Foundation as a partner.

VCF has deep roots in the Valley and strong knowledge of our community’s needs and opportunities. Establish your legacy of giving forever through the Valley Community Foundation. Contact VCF at 203-751-9162 and your trusted professional advisor to explore your options.

Gates Society Members

As of November 21, 2023

Anonymous (4)
Dayne and Dawn Bachmann
Twan and Karen Bentlage
Leslie Bondos
Sharon Closius
Jamie Cohen
Jane Cohen*
Angela Curas*
Edmund J. Conklin*
Patricia DeCicco
Walter and Bonnie Drozeck
Helen Dubrava*
Patricia Dziuba
Ed Fogarty
Gregg Goumas
Bob and Sheri Grier
William and Jo-Anna Holden
Michael Hyder*
Heidi Kaplan
Deborah Kelo
M. Elizabeth Kennard
Richard Knoll
Laura Lane
Robert Lang*
Barry and Josephine Lifrieri
Bette Mae Luedecker
Raymond F. Mackowski*
Mary Theresa Mahoney*
Ned Miller
Raymond Oppel
David and Dale Ortoli
Fred Ortoli
Lynn Ortoli*
Joseph Pagliaro, Jr.
Dorothy Palazzi
Carol Pendagast
Lynne Bassett Perry
David & Joan Rifkin
Beth Ann Smith
Donald W. Smith Sr.*
Brad and Marianne Smythe
Fred Stanek
Karen Stanek*
Nicholas and Patricia Tarasovic
Robert and Eleanora Van Egghen
Marc C. Vincent*
Valentina Vitali*
Kathie Vrlik
Jack Walsh
Donald E. Warichar
Joseph R. Warichar
Lynn Wozniak
John and Laura Zaprzalka

* Deceased

How we can help?

Sharon L. Closius

President and CEO


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