Bequest strengthens library endowment

The Wilton Library Association has received a bequest of $215,000 from the Daniel Edward Offutt, III Private Foundation Trust, which will be used to enhance the library’s Cornerstone Endowment. The library’s board of trustees voted at a meeting on Sept. 26 to use the funds for that purpose.

“The library’s mission is to be the cultural and intellectual center for the community — informing, enriching, connecting and inspiring our community. This generous contribution will lay the foundation for future programming at the library,” Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of the library, said in a statement. “We are moved by the generosity of Mr. Offutt and will be sharing the benefits of this gift with the community through our programming in the years ahead.”

The Cornerstone Endowment Fund was established to build a permanent endowment for the library. It was formed to create a stable and enhanced source of funding for programs in such areas as the arts, literature, history, music and technology.

Wilton was one of three libraries and several arts- and community-oriented organizations in Fairfield County that received a $215,000 bequest. Daniel Offutt, the foundation donor, lived for more than 30 years in Weston until his death in 2016.

According to his obituary, “Dan would have described himself as a ‘farmer,’ but he was much more than that. Those who knew him would remember him (in no particular order) as a tennis player, traveler, sailor, metal sculptor, woodworker, fixer of anything, collector of everything, lover of projects, stock market investor, and a good friend.”

After receiving an MBA from Columbia University in 1965 he had a career as a stock trader. He worked for EF Hutton & Co., from which he retired to move to Weston

According to Richard Orenstein, the foundation’s trustee, the purpose of the trust was to donate to educational and art institutions. “Education and art were the defined purposes,” he said, and the money was to be used however the recipients wished.