Community Stories

Friendship and Generosity: The Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation

Envisioning strong and healthy communities through our toughest season together.

Bruno and Evelyne Betti

It is so often our friendships that see us through our hardest seasons. In that spirit, we are happy to share some good news—at a time when we know good news is needed. The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound has received a $1.1 million gift from the Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation. This gift is the result of an ongoing friendship between our two foundations and will provide a much needed boost to our recovery efforts and critical investment in our community.

Board member, John Clees, who got to know Evelyne later in her life, expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the Community Foundation, for the gift. "Evelyne and Bruno were amazing people who loved this community deeply. To respond with generosity, especially during this difficult time, reflects their memory well. It's an honor for the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound to help carry out their philanthropic legacy."

It really is an honor and quite the local legacy. Evelyne Hill Betti and Bruno Dante Betti were early pioneers in the Hawks Prairie area of Lacey. They bought a Christmas tree farm there in 1948, followed by developing a hog farm, and rental homes. Warehouses were eventually built and they were able to rent warehouse space to up-and-coming businesses and entrepreneurs in the area. Always thankful to those who’d helped them, they liked finding opportunities to help others by “Giving A Leg Up" to those in need.

Their generous hearts and achievements greatly contributed to the economic prosperity of the South Puget Sound. In 2006, Evelyne was honored by the South Sound Partners for Philanthropy as “Individual of the Year” for her philanthropic work in the area. After her passing the Bettis' estates were used to form a foundation that would continue their philanthropic missions.

The Community Foundation is grateful for the support the Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation has shown us in the past and we appreciate their ongoing faith in our work. "A strong healthy community foundation is critical for a strong healthy community," said Stan Hill of the Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation. "We have known the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound for a long time and trust them to be responsible stewards of the funds they manage. They are clearly here to make a difference, most recently demonstrated by the funds they've raised and distributed in response to COVID-19."

The Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation's gift will go partially toward the Norma Schuiteman Sustaining Fund and partially toward our community grantmaking, which is more needed now than ever. This funding will improve our capacity to adapt to the evolving needs and opportunities of our communities, take on new programs, and amplify the generosity of our donors. We're grateful for the many ways this gift will help us offer more to our neighbors by “Giving A Leg Up”, something that Evelyne and Bruno Betti believed in.

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