by Mike Coffey
The Greensboro United Church of Christ has been the recipient of a number of donors who have left us money to care for and use wisely. In former times, these donations in the form of stocks and bonds were invested and watched over by knowledgeable trustees. But given the complex nature of investing and management, the Trustees later decided that this task was best left to an investment company. More than 20 years ago, a team from the church conducted a search of local companies that were well versed in managing portfolios for non-profit organizations and chose a New England based company.
Today we reap the benefits of not only the donations by congregation members who remember us in their estates, but by local and summertime residents who trust the Greensboro Church to manage and distribute these funds to the community.
Most notably, we were the beneficiary of a large donation by Fred Pleasants. Fred was raised in New Jersey and spend many wonderful summers in Greensboro. He was a graduate of Princeton, taught school in Connecticut, spent a year in Paris at the Sorbonne and did graduate work in anthropology at Harvard, studying primitive art and museology, the practice of organizing, arranging and managing museums.
During World War II Fred worked for the newly-formed Office of Strategic Services in the South Pacific. The OSS was the predecessor to the CIA. After the war, his education and expertise helped direct the return of art treasures that had been looted by the Nazis during the war.
His gift to the Greensboro Church subsidized the building of our current Fellowship Hall and also left a substantial endowment that we now call the Pleasants Fund. Designated to be used to support the community, every year a percentage of the principal is used to award post-secondary scholarships to students, give grants to local Vermont-based non-profits working in our community and cover part of the property expenses for the sanctuary and Fellowship Hall. Grants have included funding new recliners for the Greensboro Nursing Home, purchasing a new walk-in refrigerator at the Craftsbury Community Care Center, and funding new programs at the local libraries in Craftsbury, Albany and Greensboro.
Wise investing and careful distribution of these funds has allowed this part of our endowment to increase over the years, which, in turn allows us to fund more projects in our community.
Look for an upcoming article in the Hazen Road Dispatch to expand on the history behind Fred Pleasants and his lasting legacy. Check with us if you’re interested in including the Greensboro Church in your estate.
GUCC Trustees: Mike Coffey (chair), Andy Dales, Judy Dunnan, Nancy Hill, John Howard, Janet Long, and Rick Lovett (Vice-chair)