Suzanne Lagarde and David Stagg Fund
Est. 2021 by Suzanne Lagarde and David Stagg
Giving back has always been a part of Dr. Suzanne Lagarde and David Stagg’s lives. After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, Dr. Lagarde and her oldest daughter travelled to Biloxi, Mississippi to see how they could help.
A gastroenterologist who runs Fair Haven Community Health Care, Dr. Lagarde was struck by the overwhelming poverty and the sheer number of people who had no health insurance in Mississippi. After her initial visit, she became licensed in the state, returning several times a year to care for patients at a federally funded health clinic.
Stagg, who started a computing unit at Yale University and worked for years in the IT department, also went to Biloxi, joining a small group of electricians who renovated and built houses. He saw so much need that he continued that volunteer work for 15 years.
The couple are keenly aware of the needs in their local Greater New Haven community, too.
Dr. Lagarde, the CEO of Fair Haven Community Health Care (FHCHC), has shaped her career around providing healthcare to underserved people. She knows the far-reaching impact The Community Foundation has on organizations like FHCHC, which serves 31,000 low-income residents.
When they wanted to make a lasting gift to their beloved hometown community and beyond, the couple established the Suzanne Lagarde and David Stagg Fund at The Community Foundation.
“The Foundation is a real force in the community,” Dr. Lagarde said. “I’m impressed with the diversity of how they approach giving grants. I’m in health care but they also support the arts, animals . . . it’s a wide breadth. I love the fact that they are always looking at different things, whether it’s COVID-19, racism or economic development. They respond to what’s going on in the community.”
Stagg said he likes that staff at The Foundation will use their investment expertise to grow the fund, that the couple receive a tax benefit from their giving and they can direct funding to organizations and causes they care deeply about.
Added Dr. Lagarde, “When the day comes when we are no longer able to determine where those dollars go, then a responsible steward will decide where those dollars in the fund go.”
“I like the message that the fund gives, particularly to our kids,” Dr. Lagarde added. “Sharing your riches and your treasures with those who have less is an important thing to do in your life.”
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