A Loving Legacy: The Lisl K. Streett Fund

The Streett Fund was initiated "to create a living loving legacy of this very special person and to help support people who are in pursuit of activities and ideals that were so dear to Lisl." In addition to providing college scholarships, the Streett Fund distributes grants annually to organizations in the Wallingford area.

Wallingford resident Emily McCarthy went to Northeastern University, thanks in part to a scholarship from the Lisl Karen Streett Fund at The Community Foundation.

McCarthy was one of three students to receive tuition assistance from the Fund, which was established in 1989 by Grace Cornell Terwilliger & Dr. J. Walter Streett in memory of their daughter. The Fund was initiated "to create a living loving legacy of this very special person and to help support people who are in pursuit of activities and ideals that were so dear to Lisl."

Lisl was an active teenager until a tragic accident ended her life. The fifteen year-old was a swimmer on the high school swim team and member of the Wallingford YMCA's gymnastics team. She frequented the library and was known as an independent thinker whom her friends saw as someone they could turn to for advice.

"As phone calls to her home soon indicated, Lisl was a sort of unofficial matchmaker, counselor, advice-giver and someone who could be entrusted with confidences," said her mother. "She also had a strong love of nature and as such was an avid sunset watcher and loved the outdoors."

In addition to providing college scholarships to graduates from Sheehan High School in Wallingford, CT, the Fund distributes grants annually to organizations in the Wallingford area that serve children and teenagers. In 1997, the Streett Fund distributed $20,000 to support the establishment of a program to benefit teens at the local YMCA. The grant was the catalyst to serving more than 325 teens over the past 13 years.

"It was a 2 year grant for our Teen Outreach program," recalls Sean Doherty, Executive Director of the Wallingford Family YMCA. "It was an afterschool program for kids gone off the beaten path - for behavioral, attendance, and academic issues, or who were socially-challenged. It was free to participants and had a recreational component and time set-aside for homework. Transportation was provided to the facility. Instead of going home to an empty household, kids came to the Y where they could socialize with their peers and talk with a social worker, if desired."

The program was revamped in 2008; it now serves 40 participants at the Y's Teen Center and offers a summer camp.

The Streett Fund has distributed other grants to the Y over the years: to expand youth and teen programs in the areas of music and nature/environmental science exploration, to secure a fifteen-passenger van to provide transportation for afterschool and outreach programs, to repair the facility's roof and to purchase equipment for the Health Enhancement Center.

*2010 Scholarship Recipient, Emily McCarthy wrote:
"I am humbled and honored by the fact that you chose me to give a $6,000 scholarship. I know you must've had numerous applicants and I am grateful that you chose me out of all of them. It will please you to know that all of the scholarship money will go towards my tuition at Northeastern University. I am greatly looking forward to my time at that University.Thank you again for this generous scholarship."

Like the Streett family, you can create a lasting legacy through a permanent endowment that benefits your community for generations. To learn more, please contact Sharon Cappetta 203-777-7071.

Published 2014