Peter and Mary Fran LibassiInnovation and the willingness to embrace and drive change exemplify Peter and Mary Fran Libassi's value system.  As a reflection of their passion, and dedication to supporting Wheeler's culture of innovation, the Libassis made a commitment to bestow a $500,000 legacy gift to Wheeler. Their gift will establish the Libassi Endowment Fund for Innovation as a planned gift through their charitable remainder trust.

"This contribution supports Wheeler's commitment to nurture change and create new approaches to care and service delivery based on the needs of the community," said Mary Fran. "When you see something in the world that needs to change, you have a responsibility to help shape and drive that change. Not every idea will be successful, but it's critical to make the effort."

Trailblazers in their careers and communities, the Libassis have supported Wheeler for decades. Mary Fran, a former social worker and professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, served on the Wheeler Board of Trustees for many years and as board chair. She and Peter established the Mary Fran Libassi Education and Training Fund to support education and training of social work students and Wheeler professionals from 2000 to 2014. During this period, 14 scholarships were awarded to second-year University of Connecticut Social Work students completing second-year field placement at Wheeler, and nearly 100 employees received professional training in evidence-based approaches to care. This fund also supported an exciting expansion of an internship program for bilingual students this year, allowing Wheeler to invest in building a more diverse workforce to meet community need.

"We are extremely grateful for the Libassis' longstanding commitment to our mission and the individuals, families and communities we serve," said Susan Walkama, LCSW, president and chief executive officer, Wheeler. "Their generosity, enthusiasm, and passion for change and innovation have helped to drive many transformative initiatives within Wheeler."

"This fund is designed to catalyze major shifts in organizational processes and activities," said Peter, a retired attorney who held positions in the Johnson and Carter administrations, as well as major U.S. corporations. "It will allow Wheeler to create new programs to meet the needs of individuals and families, cultivate workforce and organizational development, and implement efforts to test and measure change."

The Libassi Endowment fund is part of the Wheeler Fund for Innovation, a family of funds designated to advance innovative approaches to care and service delivery as well as other initiatives across the agency.

The Libassi donation is one of two major legacy gifts to be made by the Libassis. The Bushnell in Hartford—which also embodies a spirit of innovation, according to the couple—also received a commitment to an endowment.  Wheeler and The Bushnell are exploring ways to work collaboratively as a way to perpetuate and honor the intention of the Libassi gifts and share lessons and ideas on fostering innovation.

"This gift supports enlarging this organization's role at the leading edge of human services in its existing domains and beyond," said Mary Fran.  "More importantly, it serves as a catalyst for others to make financial contributions that support and advance Wheeler's continued growth and transformation."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Wheeler Clinic a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Wheeler Clinic, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Plainville, CT, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Wheeler or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Wheeler as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Wheeler as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Wheeler where you agree to make a gift to Wheeler and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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