Leaving a Lakes Legacy: James Tye and Gabriel Neves

Gabriel Neves (left) and James Tye (right).

When James Tye and Gabriel Neves decided to leave a charitable giving legacy, two words drove their decision: “Madison” and “lakes.”

Married last fall, the couple lives, works and plays downtown, and they chose their apartment for the view of Lake Monona.

“What I love about Madison is everyone knows each other and there’s always something going on here,” says Gabriel, who grew up in Brazil and lived in Chicago before moving to Madison last fall. “It’s a community. It’s a different feeling.”

When the warm weather arrives, the newlyweds look forward to enjoying one of their wedding presents, a vintage Chris Craft that was a gift from James’ grandmother. They named the boat “Quatro Lagos,” which means “four lakes” in Gabriel’s native Portuguese language.

For James, the lakes are both a passion and a profession. The Madison native co-founded and serves as executive director of Clean Lakes Alliance, the community nonprofit that brings people, businesses, organizations and government agencies together to improve and protect water quality in the Yahara River watershed.

The couple’s legacy gift will support the Clean Lakes Alliance Frozen Assets Fund, a Designated Agency Fund that provides permanent support for the organization.

“It’s so easy to take an amount of money and know that it’s going to a trusted institution like Madison Community Foundation so it can be used to improve the quality of life in Madison,” says James. “And the quality of life in Madison is directly connected to the water quality in our lakes.”

James and Gabriel say they were moved to leave a planned gift and join the Legacy Society after learning about an anonymous donor’s gift of $1,000 to the Community Impact Fund for each new commitment during MCF’s 75th Anniversary Year of Giving.

Leaving a planned gift? Let us know and join our Legacy Society.