BTCF Blog | Honoring Their Neighbor

BTCF Blog

Honoring Their Neighbor

By Darryl Gangloff / February 13, 2019 / Donor Spotlight
Honoring Their Neighbor

One of the perks of small-town life is the tight-knit sense of community that manifests in gestures of kindness.

When Fran Connors lost her husband in 1993, Jim and Donna Neureuther offered to drive a few extra miles from their Lanesborough home to take the elderly woman to church every week.

Soon, Jim and Donna were going above and beyond good neighborliness. After Fran’s best friend died, they picked up her groceries and helped maintain her property and finances, thawing frozen pipes in the early morning and keeping her checkbook balanced. Since Fran had no relatives nearby, they were sure to socialize with her, too, bonding over meals and puzzles. They even brought her on Christmas excursions. Fran was no longer alone—she was part of Jim and Donna’s family, thanks to their generosity.

When Fran died in 2009 at the age of 87, she left part of her estate to Jim and Donna. Instead of using the money themselves, they decided to honor Fran and help their community thrive. They opened the Frances and Martin Connors Fund at Berkshire Taconic to provide grants to local organizations, such as the Lanesborough Fireman’s Association, the Lanesborough Public Library and Berkshire United Way. “Fran lived here her whole life,” Donna said. “Giving back to where she lived just seems right.”

Jim and Donna—who have lived in the Berkshires for nearly 45 years and have been married for just as long—also have their own philanthropic goals. They opened a donor advised fund at Berkshire Taconic to focus on their passions, including nature, music and art. Jim noted that Berkshire Taconic “makes it easy” to build your fund and explore your options.

“There’s a greater need out there,” Jim said. Finishing his sentence, Donna added, “And if you can give, you get a lot out of it, too.”

Recent Posts

For Poet Jessica Piazza, Clampitt Residency is 'Unparalleled'

BTCF Blog

For Poet Jessica Piazza, Clampitt Residency is 'Unparalleled'

The 26th recipient of the Amy Clampitt residency has fallen in love with the Berkshires. She is using this time to focus on a collection of poetry and her first novel.

Valerie Lenis Receives $105,000 Derwin Scholarship

BTCF Blog

Valerie Lenis Receives $105,000 Derwin Scholarship

Valerie Lenis of Lakeville is the ninth recipient of the $105,000 Margaret Derwin scholarship, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation named in memory of a beloved 2005 graduate of Housatonic Valley Regional High School.

Enhancing Education for 20 Years

BTCF Blog

Enhancing Education for 20 Years

Students in the Taconic Hills Central School District participate in enriching programs thanks to the hard work of volunteer grantmaking committees and the generosity of donors.

Arts Build Community Initiative Awards $59,000 in First Grant Cycle

BTCF Blog

Arts Build Community Initiative Awards $59,000 in First Grant Cycle

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s initiative to increase community engagement through the arts has awarded its first-ever grants to a range of community-based and arts nonprofits.

Amy Clampitt Resident Wins Whiting Award

BTCF Blog

Amy Clampitt Resident Wins Whiting Award

Poet Tyree Daye, the 25th recipient of Berkshire Taconic's Amy Clampitt residency program, is one of 10 emerging writers to win the prestigious $50,000 Whiting Award.

View All Stories