Publication The Steward

Vol. 8 Issue 1

March 05, 2024

Khurshed Bhumgara established The Khurshed Bhumgara Fund, an unrestricted endowed fund that supports Northwest Conn.

Sharon Resident Creates an Extraordinary Legacy

There is perhaps nothing as poignant as a blossoming friendship plucked from your grasp before it can reach the beauty of its potential. But at the Community Foundation, this is exactly how we felt when we learned of the sudden death of our board member Khurshed Bhumgara on October 20th 2014.

He was more than a trusted advisor, a dedicated volunteer, confidant, advocate, colleague and friend. “Khurshed had a rare ability to unite those he worked with. He would listen attentively to a variety of viewpoints, identify common ground among them and quickly build consensus. It was a remarkable talent, one of many for which we will remember him fondly,” said Tom Bechtle, Chairman of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Born and educated in London, England, Khurshed graduated with a business degree from Rutgers University and a law degree from Columbia University. An attorney by profession, Khurshed retired in 2002 from a successful career in capital and real estate development. He settled in Sharon, Conn. with his wife, Evelyn, and began what was to become a long list of volunteer accomplishments that both defined who he was and the standard of conduct he expected of himself and others.

Some of these accomplishments include serving as the president of The Little Guild of Saint Francis for the Welfare of Animals and on the board of the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, where Khurshed was instrumental in the Library’s expansion and helped to generate nearly $75,000 in sales as co-manager of the library’s art shows and events.

Khurshed, the sculptor, stands with “Homage to CB-1,” a creation he says was inspired by Constantin Brancusi’s “Endless Column.”

Khurshed was a vital member of the Sharon Land Trust, the Town of Sharon’s Conservation Commission, the Sharon Web Site Committee and the Sharon Energy & Environment Commission.

Lawrence Powers, president of the Sharon Land Trust remarked: “Khurshed was a gentleman with keen intelligence, great judgment and a deep dedication to public service. “For the Sharon Land Trust, he was our Treasurer and a key player in our successes over the years.

“Above all, Khurshed was a good friend to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.” Khurshed also served on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for three years. As the chair of the Foundation’s Governance Committee, he spent countless hours ensuring that the Foundation’s policies and procedures embody its fiduciary obligations and model exemplary practices for other nonprofits to emulate.

“Khurshed believed in what the Community Foundation is doing,” said Community Foundation board member Attorney Douglas O’Connell. “He believed that we are making a difference in Northwest Connecticut, and he wanted to support those efforts.”

And support them he did. Before Khurshed passed away, he set in motion what is now to become the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund at the Community Foundation. Established through a bequest, the unrestricted and endowed Fund will serve his beloved Northwest corner through grants to nonprofits.

Khurshed derived great pleasure from helping animals. He served as president of The Little Guild of St. Francis, a shelter for homeless pets in Cornwall.

“Khurshed entrusted his philanthropy to the Community Foundation because he believed in the power of an endowment and its potential to serve community needs in perpetuity,” said O’Connell.

“Khurshed loved his community and derived the greatest pleasure from helping those less fortunate, especially children and animals,” said Community Foundation President Guy Rovezzi.

“He will surely be missed, by his family, his friends, all of us at the Community Foundation and his community, but his legacy is one of promise and goodwill – one that honors his integrity and his giving spirit and ensures his life will continue to touch all Northwest Corner citizens for generations to come.”

Anonymous Donor Provides $100,000 Gift to Local Library

An anonymous donor from Northwest Conn. has provided a gift toward the restoration of the Norfolk Library.

An anonymous Northwest Conn. donor has provided a gift of $100,000 through the Community Foundation to the Norfolk Library in response to the organization’s efforts to raise a total of $875,000 for a two-phase project to restore the library’s roof and chimneys and repair walls and drainage.

In late 2014, an anonymous resident of Northwest Conn. approached the Community Foundation after becoming aware of the needs of the Norfolk Library. A longtime supporter of Northwest corner nonprofits, the donor wanted to contribute in a meaningful way and in a way that also protected the donor’s privacy.

Community Foundation staff worked with the donor to make a grant through the donor family’s Local Area Fund to ensure that the Norfolk Library received its much-needed gift and that the donor remained anonymous.

“We are so grateful for this extraordinary donation and the support it shows for our institution and the restoration of our historic building,” said Ann Havemeyer, Ph.D. Director of The Norfolk Library.

The donation, along with a $200,000 historic Restoration Fund Grant from the State of Connecticut, will be used directly for the manufacture and installation of a custom terra cotta tile roof to replicate the Library’s original 1888 design.

LEAP Program Educates, Inspires Nonprofit Leaders

In late 2014, The Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut and Danosky & Associates, LLC congratulated 10 new graduates of the Leadership Enrichment for Advancing Professionals (LEAP) program.

LEAP program modules include: Building Your Own Leadership Style, Governance and Management, Implementing a Vision and a Plan, Financial Management and Program Based Budgeting, The Right People for the Right Job, Crisis Management and Communication, Fundraising and Marketing and Pulling it all Together.

Congratulations to 2014 graduates. (top from left to right) Barbara Mazzei, Education Manager, Winsted Area Child Care Center; Sarah Prout, Director of Finance, The Arc of Litchfield County, Inc. (“LARC”); Lynn Gelormino, Executive Director, Northwest CT Association for the Arts, Inc., d/b/a Warner Theatre; Maria Coutant Skinner, Executive Director, The McCall Foundation; Nicholas Pohl, Executive Director, Housatonic Youth Service Bureau; David V. Santis, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, Covenant to Care for Children (bottom from left to right) Karin Taylor, Library Services Director, Beardsley & Memorial Library; Gina Devaux, Director of Development, Susan B. Anthony Project; Christina Emery, Director of Development, The Arc of Litchfield County, Inc. (“LARC”); Lindsay A. Raymond, Executive Director, Torrington Police Activities League, Inc. (“PAL”)

Danosky & Associates facilitators share their experience, expertise, and insights while engaging the proficiencies of all participants through presentations, group discussions, research and case study analysis, simulations, home assignments, and action-planning activities.

"I found it especially valuable to get best practices in all areas, listen and network with other Executive Directors and wonderful to get the opinion and knowledge of the facilitators. I learned that some things work different statewide and regionally," said Lynn Gelormino, Warner Theatre.

"The LEAP experience encourages thoughtful application and experimentation with ideas and best practices,” said Sharon Danosky of Danosky & Associates, LLC.

"Each session enables participants to take useful, positive actions back to their nonprofits: apply new skills, utilize new knowledge, moderate incremental change, address transformational change, engage in short- and long-term planning, and share content with board and staff."

Registration is open for the next LEAP session, which begins in September 2015.

Local Philanthropy Serves Myriad Interests— One Fund Does It All

Established in 2008 as an open and flexible community resource, the Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund was created as an easy and cost-effective way for the general public to be a part of the local philanthropic experience. The Fund provides a platform for making the charitable wishes of local citizens come true.

The Community Foundation encourages gifts of any size to the Fund from individuals, families, and businesses. Many gifts are in honor or in memory of a loved one. Often, Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund contributors use this as an attractive alternative to creating a permanent named fund and may use it to remain anonymous. Their gifts are pooled with others to support vital needs that are personal, unique, and local.

Amazingly, the Fund has received contributions from more than 70 donors to date and provided more than $65,000 in support of local causes.

“The concept of pooling charitable resources is the cornerstone of community foundation work and the Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund is one of the best examples of how powerful this concept can be,” said Community Foundation President Guy Rovezzi.

The Fund is unrestricted, which means that donors to the Fund can suggest the charitable purposes to which their gifts are applied, and the amounts distributed are not limited to earnings or appreciation as they would be with an endowed fund. In many cases, the entire gift is put to work within months as a grant to a local charity with a specific purpose or program. Grants from the Fund receive the same care and due diligence as any other grant made from the Foundation.

An anonymous donor to the Fund perhaps said it best. “I trust the Community Foundation leadership to deploy my charitable gifts to worthy organizations, like Covenant to Care, whose moral imperative is to convert critical support into immediate results.”

Providing Safe Warm Beds

Covenant to Care, a nonprofit that assists children experiencing neglect, abuse, and poverty, contacted the Community Foundation with a request for beds for children living in poverty in our Northwest Corner. With support from the Fund, the children were provided with clean, warm, and safe beds.

Inspiring Innovation and the Arts

In 2013, the Northwest Regional High School Robotics Team built a robot that earned them the Rookie All-Star Award at the Hartford Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. The Fund supported the team in its purchase of a covered trailer that protects their robot from the elements and enables students to wheel it into the trailer for safe transport.

The Fund has supported scholarships for children to attend classes and workshops with the Falls Village Children’s Theater Company and supported children's arts and culture programming at the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury.

Young actors of the Falls Village Children’s Theatre perform at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.

Protecting Our Rivers

In 2014, the Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund, in memory of Robin Connor, supplemented a grant from the Eva M. Coty Fund to support the Farmington River Watershed Association in its efforts to work with students from Northwest Connecticut Community College to detain polluted water through the installation of landscaping features before it pours into the Farmington River.

“Stormwater runoff stewardship projects go hand-in-hand with stormwater education programs,” said Eileen Fielding, Farmington River Watershed Association Executive Director.

Gifts to the Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund have come from all communities represented by the Foundation’s service area. Grants are made at the discretion of the Foundation Board and no grant from the Fund is less than $250.

Donors Support Causes, Community

Farmington River Watershed participants on River Clean-up Day.

The Harriet F. Dickenson Foundation gave to the Fund to support programs and services that benefit residents of Cornwall, Conn. Barron Financial Group has provided an unrestricted gift to the communities of Northwest Conn. in honor of its clients for four consecutive years. The Bono Family Fund of the Fairfield Community Foundation made a gift to support Hope and Love Option of Bethlehem, Conn. Margaret D. Reventlow provided for an unrestricted gift to support the communities of the Northwest Corner through the Margaret D. Reventlow Charitable Remainder Trust. An anonymous donor family provided a generous gift in support of local children’s causes. Maria and David Mazzarelli gave an unrestricted gift to support the communities of Northwest Conn. The Fund has served as a home for contributions to honor the lives of beloved family members: Lawrence Cianciolo, Robin Connor, Thomas LaPorta, Richard DiChillo Jr., Grace Banelli, Rita Toce, and Margaret Mazzarelli to name a few.

“All contributions to funds of the Community Foundation are powerful catalysts for good in their support of specific nonprofits and fields of interests,” said Rovezzi.

“Unrestricted giving, such as to the Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund, provides for unlimited potential and enables flexibility to provide support and fuel improvements for needs within our Northwest corner now, and far into the future whenever and wherever they are needed.”

As the Fund grows, so will the impact it has on the vast array of needs presented by our communities.

None of this would be possible without the gracious benevolence of people like you. Please consider making a gift or including the Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund in your estate plan. For more information, call 860-626-1245.

Edwin M. Stone & Edith H. Stone Fund Provides the Goshen Players with a Creative Space

The Old Town Hall and the home of the Goshen Players. Photo by Heather Boscarino

The Goshen Players have been entertaining Litchfield and Berkshire county theater patrons since 1949. The all-volunteer staff produces events for more than 1,500 guests a year in the Goshen Old Town Hall, a

historic and intimate theatre with seating for 139. The Players purchased the Old Goshen Town Hall in 2004 from the Town of Goshen to keep it from falling into disrepair. Although the exterior of the building was completely remodeled in 2014, the Players found the lighting booth and cabling system was becoming unreliable and even hazardous. Additionally, because of space issues, the sound booth was stationed in the balcony, a distraction to nearby patrons. A grant from Edwin M. Stone & Edith H. Stone Fund allowed the Players to relocate the lighting and sound booths to a separate room on the balcony level, enabling sound, lighting, and stage management to view the entire stage and to easily communicate with each other without distracting patrons.

“Our goal continues to be to provide high-quality theatre in our home building,” said Lydia Babbitt, Goshen Players Board member. “We are eternally grateful to The Edwin M. Stone & Edith H. Stone Fund of the Community Foundation and all of the organizations that have supported us. Without their support, we would not be able to produce theatre in our beautiful building.”

The Players recently produced Little Shop of Horrors, On Golden Pond, Steel Magnolias, 12 Angry Jurors, Two by Two, and specifically for area children, Rumple Who?

The Edwin M. Stone & Edith H. Stone Fund Supports Community

The Edwin M. Stone & Edith H. Stone Fund was established by Edwin M. Stone in 1971 as a Charitable Remainder Trust. As a CRT, the Fund provided income for Edwin M. Stone and his wife, Edith H. Stone during their lifetimes and then, per Edwin’s wishes, became an endowed unrestricted fund to serve as a source of support for organizations in the Northwest Corner dedicated to improving health, and providing for and supporting recreation, education, the arts, and services for disabled residents, and those experiencing financial need.

Players in the 2012 performance of Lend Me a Tenor. Photo by Heather Boscarino

Since 1998, the Fund has done just that, providing more than $240,000 through 77 grants to organizations that provide meals for hungry children, help elderly people remain in their homes, provide arts and culture to the community, help improve the quality of life for disabled residents, and support and improve education.

As an endowed fund, The Edwin M. Stone & Edith H. Stone Fund will continue to support the organizations that are improving lives in Northwest Conn. in perpetuity.


Anne Sutherland Fuchs Joins Community Foundation Board

Anne Sutherland Fuchs of Washington, Conn. has been named to the board of directors of the Community Foundation.

Ms. Sutherland Fuchs is an accomplished executive. She has held senior positions at the Hearst Corporation, Condé Nast, Hachette and CBS. She oversaw the business-side launches of "O", the Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire and Elle Magazine and managed Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Redbook and Town & Country. She also has served as Global CEO of Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg, then owned by LVMH Moêt Hennessy - Louis Vuitton.

As Group President of the Growth Brands Division of the JCPenney Company, she was responsible for the launch of two wholly owned start-up digital retail websites: and She is a past board member of NYDJ Apparel and currently sits on the board of Pitney Bowes Inc. serving on the executive compensation and audit committees and on the board of Gartner Inc. as chair of executive compensation and serves on governance committees.

A graduate of New York University and having studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris and the University of Mexico City, Ms. Fuchs was Founder, President, then Chair of the Madison Boys and Girls Club Women's Board, Trustee of the Whitney Museum, and Chair of the USIA's Magazine and Print Committee. She is a past Board member of the Berkshire School and also chaired the New York City Commission on Women's Issues from 2002-2013. She is a current Board member of Greenwoods Counseling Referrals.

Ms. Fuchs has received multiple awards, including Advertising Women of the Year by Advertising Women of New York and the Woman of the Year Award by the NY Police Athletic League. She has been named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women eNews.

“Anne brings exemplary business acumen and thoughtful leadership to the Foundation,” said Community Foundation President Guy Rovezzi. “Her extensive experience in providing stewardship to charitable endeavors, locally and globally, combined with her marketing and business expertise is a tremendous asset to our organization.”

Christina Tranquillo Joins Community Foundation as Program and Communications Associate

Christina joined the Community Foundation in April of 2015. She supports and contributes to program, communications, and donor services, including assembling and organizing data for publications and communications, maintaining the Community Foundation’s website and social media presence, managing grant application files and correspondence with nonprofit applicants and grantees, and assisting with planning and orchestrating Community Foundation events and educational seminars.

A graduate of Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., Christina has always enjoyed working for organizations that enrich lives. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Christina worked in public relations at her college alma mater, for the Glenholme School in Washington, Conn., and for a Celtic record label based in Danbury, Conn.


More than one-third of Connecticut residents – at every income level – reported making contributions on their federal tax returns using the itemizer schedule to report and claim their deductions.

Did you know?

Establishing a donor-advised fund or a supporting organization with a community foundation offers a 20 percent tax advantage compared to establishing a private foundation and is exempt from excise tax.

Learn more at

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