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Meet Our Donors

We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.


Donor 4

Clarence Canfield of Ansonia volunteers five days a week at Griffin Hospital.

And he wouldn't have it any other way.

On weekdays he and Rem Skidmore of Shelton can be found manning a table in a corridor near the main entrance where they sell donated books for $1 apiece. All the proceeds benefit the hospital.

Canfield said in an interview at the hospital in late June that in the previous month they had raised $500 with book sales.

Canfield underwent open heart surgery in 1999 and is a longtime member of the hospital–based Valley Heart Club.

He is program director for the club, which meets on the third Tuesday of the month at the hospital.

Canfield lines up guest speakers for the meetings. Prior to the meetings a smaller group of members meet "just to talk," he said.

Canfield said 24 people attended last month's program; the club has 58 members. He and fellow heart club member and volunteer Linda Torok of Seymour also spend time visiting Hospice patients at the hospital, he said.

He was an owner of the former Huntington Power, a business in Shelton, and when he sold his share of the company he gave a good portion of the proceeds to Griffin and to the hospital's Center for Cancer Care.

Canfield said he donated the funds in memory of his wife, Esther, and her sister, Alice Chucta of Seymour.

He is also a member of The George Griffin Legacy Society, a group of individuals who have made a provision for Griffin Hospital in their estate plans. Working with his attorney to create a "planned gift" to the hospital in his will, Canfield included a bequest that will provide significant support to Griffin after he dies.

"I made the bequest for the simple reason that I know where the money goes. I'm alone now, and I have taken care of those family members who are most important to me. I want the rest to go to good use. Griffin needs the support to help those in need here in the community," he said. Canfield, who has been volunteering for 21 years, said "I've been coming here since 1950. I know the staff. Everyone here is like family. Griffin means a lot to me. This was simple to do, and it's a great way to give back."


Donor 2

I bought a lot of life insurance when our family was young. Wanted to be sure that Bev and our children would be taken care of should anything unexpected happen to me.

Well, I’m still around, thank goodness. Our children are grown and settled, and Bev and I did a little better financially than we ever thought would be possible when we were starting out. Truth is, our family no longer needed all the life insurance coverage I was carrying for them.

That excess insurance was really an asset that was no longer productive for us. We talked about it with our accountant, and she said that we could donate some policies to our favorite charity – Griffin. We would receive an income tax deduction approximately equal to the cash surrender value of the policies, which would come in very handy at tax time.

Griffin could either cash in the policies and use the funds for current projects, or hold them for the death benefits they will pay when we die.

It was a win-win result: we were able to help Griffin out significantly, but we did it by using assets we had almost forgotten about, and in a way that didn’t affect our cash-flow or our family’s security.

Tom & Wilma

Donor 3

We wanted to make a gift to Griffin in addition to our annual support – a commitment that would make a lasting impact on the organization our whole family loves.

But how to do it? We can’t afford to give away large sums while we’re alive, and our children are counting on receiving most of our estate. Our financial advisor came up with the creative solution. He had been looking over the annual statements from Tom’s and my IRAs and retirement plans.

“There will be more than adequate distributions available from these plans after you retire to maintain your lifestyle and enjoy yourselves a little bit,” he told us. “In fact, I’ll probably be advising you to minimize your withdrawals and keep the accounts growing.

“But, did you know that any balance remaining in those plans when the second of you dies could be taxed twice if you leave the accounts to your children through your will? That’s right – the balances could be subject to both estate and income tax. Your children could wind up with a lot less than you’re expecting them to get.”

His plan? Designate Griffin as the recipient of all or a portion of the remaining balance in our retirement plans. That transfer will be subject to neither estate nor income tax, resulting in a substantial gift to Griffin. We were then able to allocate the other assets in our estate to our children, knowing that they can take them free of the double tax that applies to retirement accounts.

The result for us? We solved an estate-planning problem we didn’t even know we had, and found a way to provide long-term support for our favorite institution.

The material presented on this Planned Giving website is not offered as legal or tax advice.
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