Local Newsman’s gift stretches farther than anticipated.

August 30, 2023

In the spring of 2021, United Way HPE was informed they were one of three charities named as a benefactors of former Intelligencer wire editor Dave Vachon’s will.

Dave, or “Rogie” as he was affectionately called by his colleagues and friends at The Intell, died in the late fall of 2020 from a brain tumour.  He was 54.  Part of Dave’s lasting legacy was supporting his community with a bequest.

“United Way HPE was proud to be chosen as one of the charities he supported with his final farewell to the community” said Brandi Hodge, Executive Director, United Way Hastings & Prince Edward. “Charitable giving is very personal – in planned giving, the chosen charities can often reflect the journey the person took in their final days.  Dave opted to be remembered for the way he lived and the values he had – caring for his friends and neighbours and supporting the community he loved & called home.”

“We were notified of the bequest and were so grateful for it,” said Hodge. “We planned for how to best use Dave’s gift to impact our local community – but we were pleasantly surprised when all was said and done, that the gift was significantly larger than anticipated.”  United Way HPE was able to invest the bulk of the funds in their allocations process, leveraging Dave’s gift and granting funding to other organizations across the community.

The remainder, an unplanned but welcome amount, will go to supporting the development of The Bridge, an integrated care hub for people experiencing homelessness in the community, to be located in the former Banquet Centre/Alhambra Hall. “The Bridge is a large collaborative project engaging multiple organizations and it needed a project manager to get it off the ground – Dave has provided the resources to enable that, “said Hodge.

Chris Malette, a friend, former longtime Intelligencer newsroom co-worker and executor of Dave Vachon’s estate, said he was proud of his late friend’s enduring legacy with tens of thousands of dollars going to deserving agencies throughout Belleville.  “It’s almost been three long years since Dave passed, but finally freeing up significant funding for many agencies through United Way, helping establish this much-needed hub for helping people who are unhoused in this community shows the importance of the kind of legacy giving exhibited by Dave in his final gesture,” explains Malette.

Wills are the central pillars of estate planning. A Gift by Will, known as a bequest, provides you with the opportunity to support an organization once your needs and those of your loved ones have been met.  Seeing the will through to completion is a complex process and can take time.

Malette, who directed the dissolution and distribution of Dave’s estate over the past two years, said he urges families of loved ones throughout the region to consider similar gestures of giving in helping friends and family members plan their distribution of estate funds. “So many can benefit from the singular generosity of a simple decision to leave a gift behind,” he said.

Leaving a bequest to a charity can have several benefits. Firstly, it allows you to leave a lasting legacy and make a positive impact on a cause or organization that you care about. Your bequest can help support the charity’s ongoing work and programs, ensuring that they can continue to make a difference in the community.

Additionally, leaving a bequest to a charity can provide you with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, knowing that your assets will be used to benefit others even after you’re gone. It can also have potential tax benefits, as charitable bequests are often eligible for tax deductions or exemptions. Finally, leaving a bequest to a charity can inspire others to do the same, encouraging a culture of philanthropy and generosity in society.

When you donate to United Way it makes a lasting impact in our community. Funds stay 100% local, supporting programs and people, right here at home.  To learn more please call 613-962-9531 or go to https://unitedwayhpe.ca/gifts-in-your-will .