Community Impact


Elizabeth I. Matt Bequest to Benefit Animals and Students

Elizabeth I. Matt, known as “Betty” to many, was a woman who fully understood the importance of philanthropy and the role it played in her community and in the lives of her neighbors. Betty left a $334,000 planned gift to substantially add to two funds at the Main Street Community Foundation that she started during her lifetime by naming the Foundation as the beneficiary of her IRA. The Elizabeth I. and Louis J. Matt Animal Protection Fund and the Elizabeth I. & Louis J. Matt Medical Scholarship Fund are named in honor of her and her late husband, Louis J. Matt.

The Elizabeth I. and Louis J. Matt Animal Protection Fund was established at the Foundation in 2006 with a $10,000 gift from an IRA charitable rollover. Distributions from the Fund will provide care and support to animals in need in Connecticut. Both Betty and Louis had a life-long love of and fascination for animals with a special interest in their care and well being.

Until this year, the fund had a limited amount of money available for distribution. However, this limited distribution amount had a great impact on several animals in crisis, as well as a disabled person who is dependent on the assistance of service dog. Small grants were provided as “immediate aid.” For example, the fund provided for the purchase of food and veterinary care of abandoned pets. Additionally, when a certified service dog needed surgery for an injury that had limited its mobility, the Fund supported the cost of the procedure.

The Elizabeth I. & Louis J. Matt Medical Scholarship Fund was originally established via a stock transfer worth $10,500 in 2007. An annual scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior in the Foundation’s service area that is pursuing education in the medical field. As evidenced by her 48-year career as a nurse at Hartford Hospital, Betty had a true interest in and passion for the clinical medicine field. This scholarship will help provide a student the opportunity to follow their passion into the medical field.

Through planned giving, Betty Matt created a legacy by establishing funds at Main Street Community Foundation during her lifetime. After her death, her generosity continued in the form of a bequest, which will increase the reach and impact of her legacy for years to come.