Legacy Club members and Nature Guardians Connie and Nick LaFond
Connie and Nick LaFond Legacy Club members and Nature Guardians Connie and Nick LaFond © Nick LaFond

Meet our Donors

Meet Connie LaFond

Native Minnesotan Connie LaFond takes a hands-on approach to helping wildlife. She serves as board treasurer for the International Wolf Center, keeps prairie habitat on her property intact for native birds, and is a licensed in-home wildlife rehabilitator. Over the years, she has cared for raccoons, coyotes, squirrels, owls and even a river otter, but her specialty is foxes.

Connie has always loved wolves, foxes and coyotes, so when The Humane Society asked if she could take in a litter of fox kits, she jumped at the chance. Soon after, she and her husband Nick, a retired physician, converted a portion of their 45-acre hobby farm to house orphaned, sick and injured red and gray foxes—she took in a record  number of 17 last year—until the animals are ready for release. But the most meaningful way to help wildlife, she says, is to protect habitat. “You can do all the rehab in the world, but if there’s no place to release these animals, it’s kind of pointless.”

You can do all the rehab in the world, but if there’s no place to release these animals, it’s kind of pointless.

A red fox sits in a field
Red Fox Connie rehabilitates foxes, like this red fox sitting in a Minnesota field. © Nathan Lovas
It was Connie’s interest in protecting wildlife habitat that led her to The Nature  Conservancy. “The Conservancy does a really good job of solving the habitat issue, both from a global, big-picture perspective and at the local level,” she says. Connie has been steadfast with her annual giving. She also relied on her decades of experience as a certified public accountant to decide the best way to support TNC’s future work. For her and Nick, the answer was a deferred gift annuity.
 
“Deferred gift annuities are absolutely fascinating because you get an upfront tax deduction for a portion of the gift, you can decide when you want to take the money, and you get a guaranteed return at a really good rate. And the money will eventually help accomplish work that you care about,” she says. “As you get older, you get more thoughtful about what you want your legacy to be.”

 

Connie and Nick joined The Legacy Club in 2018, when they established their first of two annuity gifts. They also support TNC’s work through their annual giving and belong to TNC’s special Nature Guardians membership recognition circle.