Teachers Dedicate Lives & Legacies to Children

Est. 1993 by bequest of Grace Donahue and Doris Feldman.

Grace Donahue and Doris Feldman
Grace Donahue and Doris Feldman

Grace Donahue and Doris Feldman were lifelong friends who taught in the Hamden public school system. As teachers, the former taught history and the latter social studies and fine arts, once proclaiming that she "butted into every other subject." Both were principals at one time. Doris met Grace in 1938 at the Newhall Elementary School where she was the principal and Grace was a sixth grade teacher. The pair separately obtained their master's degrees in education from Yale University. Each worked more than 50 years before their retirement in the 1970s. Each returned to work as "consultants" at Hamden-Cooperative High School to give nearly 20 additional years of service to Hamden's students and educational system.

The two women shared another love beyond the classroom. It was an affinity to children with special needs. When school was not in session, the pair designed and directed summer camps for children living with hearing or sight disabilities.

Though Grace and Doris never married and did not have children of their own, "they [were] mothers of the whole group," recalls a teacher who once worked with them. In 1988, Doris created a testamentary trust by bequest for the lifetime benefit of her friend Grace. The trust provided financial security for Grace until her death in 1993, at which time the remainder of Doris' estate established the first of two Doris V. Feldman and Grace E. Donahue Funds at The Foundation; a bequest by Grace created the second fund. Both funds give preference to programs that determine learning or emotional disorders of children aged 2-7 residing in Hamden and benefit persons living with intellectual and learning disabilities.

In its history, the Donahue/Feldman Funds have provided grants to such organizations as the Hamden Transition Academy, CT Autism Spectrum Resource Center and The Connecticut Children's Museum.

Like Doris and Grace, you or someone you know can create a lasting legacy through a permanent endowment that benefits your community for generations.

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Grace Donahue and Doris Feldman Fund #1