Donor Stories

Page Title

Your Legacy will be an Avonian's Future

Donor Stories

Thomas “Knick” Curtis ‘63

When I came to Avon to see the school, Don Pierpont was giving us the campus tour. As we walked along he asked me if I wanted to come to the school and I said yes. He said ok, and "don't let me down!"  Although there were a couple of times that I did, they were all part of the learning/maturing experience that Avon gave me! In the overall I thrived academically and socially, being involved in just about every aspect of campus life. My experience gave me the basis for a successful life which I directly relate to Avon!

When I started giving it was primarily from phone calls from a classmate, Carl Emmons. One day Anne Black from the Alumni and Development office called and shared that Carl Emmons had suggested she call me and during the course of the conversation she mentioned that Carl committed to creating an endowment. Not one to be one upped by my friend I agreed to start one, which became my first to the music program. The next time I had the opportunity to talk to Carl (who passed away recently) I said something to the effect, "darn it Carl, every time I hear your name it costs me money!" I since started a second endowment towards the LaRocque Faculty Fund when Ken retired. I have also named Avon in my will. I have done all of these things because the school has grown in so many positive ways to the benefit of so many more young men, and I'm proud to be a part of supporting their efforts!

Planned Giving Profile: Marty H'16, P'04 & Terri Cole P'04

Marty and I were slow to embrace private education for our children, because we were both products of public school education. Three of our parents had spent their careers in public school education. As parents, we were active in the PTO and raising money for our public schools, but as we watched education funds being cut from our small-town budget, we decided that we had to look at private school education as an alternative for our three children.

What we found at Avon Old Farms was a community where boys could thrive, a school on a beautiful campus with state-of-the- art facilities, a challenging class environment with dedicated teachers, and advisors who really know their students. And there is a curriculum that encourages all students to participate in sports and gives them opportunities to explore music and art.

We were fortunate to be able to provide the private school experience for our children and provide scholarship aid for other students. We believe in the mission of Avon Old Farms as it strives to be the best school for boys. It has been natural for us to continue our philanthropy at the school with a bequest in our estate plan.

Planned Giving Profile: John Wendler '68

John Wendler attended Avon thanks to a scholarship provided by the J. Aron Charitable Foundation, which also funded his four years at Bowdoin College. “I couldn’t have attended either institution without their assistance,” he recalls. “Avon was the most influential experience in my development, outside of my parents and family, and key to whatever success I’ve achieved after Avon.”

“As I was closing in on retirement and developing an estate plan, I reflected on my life as well as the people and organizations that were the most influential in my development and made the greatest contribution to whatever success I’ve achieved. Avon was at the top of the list. It changed my life,” he continues. “I wanted to offer that same opportunity to a deserving boy by establishing in my will the John D. Wendler ‘68 Scholarship.”

“Once I determined the amount of my scholarship and type of student I wanted it to be awarded to, I worked with Peter Evans to structure my donation in a way that best fit my financial situation. Initially, I put my entire gift in my will. But then, I decided I wanted to see my scholarship activated and given to a worthy student while I was still alive. So, with a payment of $100,000 in 2018, at my 50th Reunion, my scholarship was formally established and used for the first time during the 2018/19 school year to provide financial assistance to an outstanding boy who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend Avon, just like me. And when I received a thank you note from the first recipient of my scholarship, I felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction that I was fortunate to be able to do this, all because of what Avon did for me.”



Please contact Sarah Wallace, Planned Giving Manager, at 860-404-4267,