“There are happy endings to a lot of sad beginnings"
Jeff and Susan Lalonde have lived and worked in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut for many years, Jeff as president of Torrington Savings Bank and Susan as owner of a graphic design business. Devoted to community and highly involved with local nonprofits, they met each other through their service on the Board of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and the Torrington-Winsted Rotary.
"The community provided a livelihood for us," said Jeff. "And, it’s provided a good life for us, friends and relationships."
In 2005, Jeff and Susan were newly married and settling into a new home in Goshen. They found that they had the means and the desire to give back to their community and the nonprofits that had brought them together.
"We had always given our time," said Jeff. "And, that’s valuable too. But, now we were in a position to make a one-time financial contribution. Instead of giving it to one organization, we thought we would establish a fund, so we could give to many organizations for years to come."
The Lalondes established the NCCF Jeffrey and Susan Lalonde Community Betterment Fund. Like the many donations of time and talent the Lalondes shared with their community for many years, the non-endowed donor-advised fund supports a wide range of programs that improve life for the residents of Litchfield County.
"There are so many good people in this community, and they have so much to offer," said Susan. "We admire those who come forward and work hard and are so passionate about working within local nonprofit organizations."
Since it was established, the Jeffrey and Susan Lalonde Community Betterment Fund has awarded more than $35,000 in grants to 25 nonprofits providing emergency services, assisting veterans, supporting the arts, enhancing life for special needs adults, and assisting those struggling with hunger.
Through their Fund, the Lalonde’s provide much needed discretionary gifts to nonprofits providing services to family members with cancer, supporting inclusivity to community members with intellectual disabilities, assisting those recovering from addition, providing safe places for children to play, and much more.
Through on-going gifts and prudent investment, the balance of the Jeffrey and Susan Lalonde Community Betterment Fund continued to grow, enabling more grants each year.
"Torrington has growing challenges, and there is more than enough need here and in the surrounding communities." said Jeff. "We hope that the Community Foundation continues to grow and attract donors who can help meet those needs."
“There are happy endings to a lot of sad beginnings,” said Susan.