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Planned gift leaves lasting legacy for LGBTQ+ community

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Bequest propels Gay Community Endowment Fund to $2 million

Peter Schofield
Peter Schofield

In September, the Gay Community Endowment Fund received the second-largest gift in its 20-year history, helping to propel the fund to more than $2 million in charitable assets.

The $60,912 bequest came from the estate of Peter Lee Schofield, a cornerstone donor and longtime volunteer of the fund who died last year at age 84.

Schofield, a former Bridgestone/Firestone executive, spent his childhood in Maine and later served in the U.S. Navy. His military service took him across the world before landing at Kent State University, where he majored in industrial labor relations. Although his career often involved relocating to cities all over the country, Peter remained connected to the Greater Akron community and returned home during his retirement years.

In 2001, Peter was part of a small group of community members who came together to establish the Gay Community Endowment Fund. Their vision was to create a permanent source of funding that would meet the growing needs of LGBTQ+ people throughout Greater Akron. Peter served on the board as both an active and emeritus member until retiring in 2016, most recently serving as chair of the Guidelines and Policies Committee while keeping a historical record of the fund.

In 2017, the fund honored Peter with its esteemed Paul Daum Award. The annual award recognizes those who have demonstrated a significant commitment to LGBTQ+ causes and whose involvement has contributed to the benefit of the Greater Akron community at large.

Now, through his bequest, Peter’s lifelong dedication to the community will continue in perpetuity. By including the Gay Community Endowment Fund in his estate plans, Peter left a lasting legacy that will benefit the local LGBTQ+ community for generations to come.

"We are honored and extremely grateful to receive Peter’s generous gift," said Julie Jones, chair of the Gay Community Endowment Fund. "Peter played a vital role in establishing the fund, and this gift allows his legacy to live on and enhance the lives of those in the community he was so committed to throughout his adult life. It is fitting that Peter’s gift has helped the fund reach the $2 million mark. His gift reminds us of where we started and how far we’ve come, and it’s also a reminder of the work still ahead of us. We are proud to honor Peter’s legacy as we work to promote a lived equality in our community."

Planned gifts like Peter’s are a powerful way to make a significant impact on the causes you care about. For more information about including the Gay Community Endowment Fund in your will – or creating your own named charitable fund that will benefit GCEF and your favorite charities forever – visit www.akroncf.org/plannedgiving.

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