Spring 2024 Newsletter

Centennial Kickoff

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut is proudly celebrating its 100th year of service to our community this year. Throughout the last 100 years, United Way has been the go-to organization that responds to the community’s most pressing needs – from the Great Depression, periods of widespread food insecurity, health crises, catastrophic flooding, seasons of high unemployment and more. 

As our United Way approached our Centennial, we set out to better understand community conditions, resident priorities and opportunities to create the biggest impact across our region. We are pleased to introduce Onward860 – United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut’s strategic vision as we move into our next chapter.  

In this report, we summarize key issues and dive into the data that help inform the Onward860 vision for a brighter, more equitable future where everyone can succeed. As we embark on our Centennial year and next chapter, we hope you will join us in co-creating a bold future where everyone has the chance to succeed. Read more

You can also learn more about United Way’s strategic vision as well as opportunities to engage in our Centennial celebration and next chapter by listening to Metro Hartford Alliance’s April 10 radio show here.  

Photos from our Centennial Kickoff and Presentation of the 2023 Community Service Award on April 3 at The Society Room in Hartford can be found here.  


Every year, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut recognizes members of our organization’s Leadership Giving Societies for their generosity and commitment to the community by acknowledging them in our Annual Leadership Roster. United Way’s 2022-2023 Leadership Roster recognizing you, a member of one of these exclusive societies of philanthropists leading the way in making real, measurable impact on issues facing children, adults and families where we live and work, is available for viewing here.

Volunteer Recognition 

April is recognized as National Volunteer Month and Global Month of Service. This April we especially wanted to recognize two of the volunteers who are leading our organization, United Way’s Board of Directors Chair, Pete Collins, and Vice Chair, Irene Bassock. Both Pete and Irene assumed their leadership positions on the board effective February 1, 2024. 

Pete has been an ardent supporter of United Way as a donor and volunteer for many years and can be seen at most events. His engagement with United Way includes, but is not limited to, participating on United Way’s Centennial Strategic Planning Committee, serving as a mentor for the ELS Case Competition, purchasing tables at Women United’s Power of the Purse, and supporting the Live United Golf Tournament. Pete joined United Way’s board in 2019. 

Irene is a Founding Member of United Way’s newest affinity group, Women of Tocqueville. Prior to becoming a Women of Tocqueville Founding Member, Irene was active with United Way’s Women United, and remains committed to the group today. Irene joined United Way’s board in 2022 and has been actively engaged in United Way’s advocacy work for systemic change. 

We are grateful for the time and expertise extended by all members of our Board of Directors. Click here for a full list of United Way’s Board of Directors and join us in thanking these servant leaders helping United Way achieve its mission and vision for our community.  

Pete Collins

Chair, United Way Board of Directors


Irene Bassock

Vice Chair, United Way Board of Directors

Cohen & Buckmann PC

Re-Introducing United Way’s 1924 Legacy Society

The 1924 Legacy Society honors donors whose gifts support United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut through a will, trust, retirement plan or life insurance designation, or life-income gift such as a charitable gift annuity or remainder trust. Once you inform us that you have included a gift for our United Way in your plans, you will be recognized as a member of the 1924 Legacy Society. As a member, you will receive: 

• Invitations to special events and seminars; 
• Access to exclusive Leadership events;  
• Premier listing in our annual report and 1924 Legacy Society webpage; and, 
• A subscription to our planned giving newsletter. 

Please consider joining this exclusive Society and help sustain our organization into our next chapter. 

Visit United Way’s 1924 Legacy Society webpage to learn more and view a roster of current 1924 Legacy Society members. 

Charitable Gift Annuities  

Did you know that you can set up a charitable gift annuity (CGA) at United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut? 

It is a great time to consider the gift that pays you: a charitable gift annuity. 

Annual payout rates are higher than they have been in more than a decade, ranging from 4.7 to 10.1 percent, depending on your age. 

How Gift Annuities Work  

1. You donate cash or marketable securities to our United Way.
2. We pay you fixed income for your lifetime (and the lifetime of a loved one if you choose).
3. After your lifetime, the remaining amount becomes part of your legacy at our United Way.

With this gift, you will also enjoy:
• A partial income tax charitable deduction for your gift when you itemize
• Part of each payment being income tax-free throughout your estimated life expectancy 

 If you are 70½ or older, you can now make a one-time election of up to $50,000 (without being taxed on the IRA distribution) from your IRA to fund a gift annuity.  

Get Your Personalized Example
We would be happy to send you a free, no-obligation calculation showing you the benefits you can
receive from a gift annuity.  

To learn more about United Way’s 1924 Legacy Society or how to set up a charitable gift annuity at United Way, please contact Clayton Jason, United Way’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, at cjason@unitedwayinc.org or 860.493.1106. 

Women of Tocqueville Update  

Leadership Reception Hosted by Women of Tocqueville 

Women of Tocqueville hosted an exclusive Leadership Reception prior to United Way’s Centennial Kickoff and Presentation of the 2023 Community Service Award event for members of United Way’s Tocqueville and 1924 Legacy Societies, Women United Leadership Council and Board of Directors. The event allowed for networking and building bonds among local philanthropists and leaders. 

During the event program, Women of Tocqueville Co-Chairs Paula Gilberto and Susan Dunn highlighted United Way’s century of service to our region and the next generation of leadership transitioning and overseeing United Way’s next chapter, and took time to recognize the philanthropic commitment of those in the room as well as Greg and Mary Jo Toczydlowski, members of the Tocqueville Society and recipients of United Way’s highest honor, the 2023 Community Service Award. 

Photos from the Leadership Reception hosted by Women of Tocqueville can be found here.

Women of Tocqueville is the collective power of women business, civic and philanthropic leaders coming together to improve the well-being of children and families in central and northeastern Connecticut through gifts of treasure, wisdom, and service. Through involvement, members are afforded the chance to build strong bonds with other like-minded women leaders and deepen their knowledge of, and impact addressing, community issues. To learn more please visit Women of Tocqueville’s webpage or contact Kim Reeves, United Way Director of Leadership and Major Giving, at kreeves@unitedwayinc.org or 860.493.6882.

United Way’s Women United’s 13th Annual Power of the Purse Luncheon and Silent Auction Presented by KeyBank Key4Women 

Thursday, June 6 
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Connecticut Convention Center  

For more than 13 years, this annual event has raised critical financial resources to help women and families achieve financial security. As more people struggle to make ends meet due to the complex job market and new sets of challenges, your support matters now more than ever. By participating in this year’s event, you are helping ensure that people receive no-cost job training, financial education and savings opportunities.  

Enjoy a robust silent auction, lively entertainment, high-quality networking with 1,000+ of our area’s business and community leaders, and an inspirational program featuring keynote speaker Rita Moreno, best known as Anita from West Side Story, while making a difference in the lives of women and families struggling to make ends meet in our local community.