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Dean Mathey Society

blacksmith shop, Dean Mathey, inn at night

You are invited to become a member of The Dean Mathey Society.

In doing so, you will join a special group of individuals who have already provided for The Windham Foundation in their will. The trustees of The Windham Foundation will honor those individuals who have made this generous commitment with a dinner and recognition to be held annually at the Grafton Inn.

Nearly 50 years ago, one man turned his love of a rural Vermont town into his legacy. It’s hard to imagine what would have become of Grafton if Dean Mathey’s childhood had been less idyllic. For most of his childhood summers, Dean visited his Aunt Pauline Fiske in the small village of Grafton, Vermont. One can only imagine a boy with fishing pole, worms and the dream of endless summer days ahead. But the Grafton of Dean’s childhood was much different than the Grafton we know today. A bustling hub of early 19th century industry, Grafton’s heyday had long passed and its web of sawmills, gristmills, and sheep farms was falling into grave disrepair. Although Dean Mathey’s journey led him away from Grafton and on to much success as a renowned athlete, Princeton University alumnus and dedicated trustee, as well as a successful Wall Street investment banker, his heart never left Grafton. In 1963, across a country kitchen table in his beloved adopted town of Grafton, Dean Mathey decided to create The Windham Foundation. Its purpose would be to purchase and restore historic buildings and businesses in Grafton. With one significant action, a new foundation for Grafton’s future was laid.

Since Dean Mathey’s commitment, The Windham Foundation has grown significantly to now own 1,600 acres of land in Grafton and many historic buildings including the Old Tavern at Grafton, Grafton Village Cheese Company, Grafton Village Nursery and down the road in Brattleboro, the Retreat Farm. To carry out its varied programs, the Foundation employs over one hundred people in both towns. The Windham Foundation’s annual philanthropic activities include contributing $400,000 in grant funds to Vermont non-profit organizations, providing $100,000 in scholarship awards to Windham County undergraduates, sponsoring a summer Mathematics Institute for Vermont elementary and high school teachers, and convening regular Grafton Conferences with key decisionmakers to spotlight significant issues facing Vermonters. The Windham Foundation – and its impact on the quiet, historic village of Grafton – is Dean Mathey’s legacy. But every life has a legacy and every person has the choice of how best to care for the special people, places and beloved memories of one’s life. The Windham Foundation can be part of your legacy. If you have known and loved the special nature of this place that The Windham Foundation calls home – you can help build an even stronger Foundation for its future.

Fixed Dollar Bequest - This is a straightforward way to provide a specific gift amount to the Foundation. Your attorney can help you incorporate this in your current will. Sample language might include: I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to The Windham Foundation, Grafton Vermont ___________. This is an unrestricted gift and may be used to further the mission and programs of The Windham Foundation.

Bequest of Property - Carefully select and identify real estate (a residence or undeveloped land), personal property (antiques or art), or investments (such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) as a bequest to The Windham Foundation.

Percentage of your Estate - Leaving a percentage of your estate ensures that the relative size of your estate remains constant, whatever happens to the future value of your assets.

Bequest of Residue - After providing for your family and friends, use this popular approach to leave all or a portion of what remains to The Windham Foundation.

Planning Your Estate

Estate planning is a personal matter. Your choices will be part of the legacy of your life. Your decisions will affect those you love and causes you care for and will become a reflection of you for the future. In planning your estate, it is important to have a legal advisor whom you trust and who has expertise in estate planning. With your attorney and those closest to you, take a good look at your assets and in what form they are held:

• Do you have cash, securities, real estate, or other tangible property? What is its cost to you? What is today’s value? How it is owned?

• Do you have other assets, such as life insurance and retirement plans? These are distributed through a beneficiary form and not under your will or trust. With your family and attorney, consider tax-wise strategies for certain assets. It is relatively simple to devise strategies that won’t pose a burden to your heirs. You can avoid both income and estate taxes by bequeathing retirement plan assets, U.S. Savings Bonds, deferred compensation, annuities, and stock options to The Windham Foundation.

In considering a gift to The Windham Foundation in your will, there are several points of information your attorney will want to know:

  • Our legal name is The Windham Foundation, Inc.
  • We are an operating foundation classified 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Our tax identification number is 13-6142024.

We are happy to provide your attorney with copies of our tax-exemption letters.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information on remembering The Windham Foundation through your will and on joining The Dean Mathey Society.

Bob Allen, President/CEO 
The Windham Foundation, Inc.
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Becky Nystrom, Special Programs,
The Windham Foundation, Inc.
Telephone: 802-843-2211
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