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Committed to Community: Kit Gates and Mark Yorra

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In 1980, Kit Gates and Mark Yorra opened a primary care practice in Barre that included women’s health and internal medicine. Over 35 years of caring for Granite City residents provided them with a window into Barre’s diverse, working class heart and soul, and the pair formed a close affinity for the community. When Kit and Mark reached retirement age and started considering philanthropy, they prioritized supporting nonprofits that improve the health and vitality of the town where they built careers. After an accountant reviewed their initial gifts, the couple realized they were dispersing money in a disorganized way. Some online research led them to the Vermont Community Foundation.

“It was the perfect vehicle for us,” says Mark. “We share the same prime focus as the Community Foundation—supporting communities in Vermont and making it a better place.” Kit adds, “For people who feel they have discretionary income to donate, it’s a much simpler way to go about it instead of setting up a formal foundation, and it makes tax accounting so much easier.”