Late Fresno philanthropist makes $4M donation to children’s hospital

Accountant Donald Emil Gumz was a lifelong Fresno resident and a longtime supporter of Valley Children’s

MADERA – The threat of coronavirus has diminished the ability of Valley residents to share hugs, kisses and handshakes but it hasn’t dampened our generosity. One local man proved that by donating his estate to ensuring that sick children all over the Valley can receive the care they need.

Last month, the estate of Fresno philanthropist Donald Emil Gumz donated $4 million to Valley Children’s Hospital. To honor Gumz’s legacy, Valley Children’s will be recognizing his generosity in a new outpatient center planned for construction on the Valley Children’s Hospital campus in Madera.

“One of the great privileges of leading Valley Children’s Healthcare is witnessing firsthand the generosity of extraordinary individuals like Donald Gumz,” said Todd Suntrapak, president and CEO of Valley Children’s Healthcare. “Mr. Gumz’s generosity was driven, in part, by his commitment to making a difference in the lives of children for generations to come—children he would likely not know or would not see. But he believed deeply in the idea that investing in our future generations would be essential for the future of this Valley that he loved and called home. Mr. Gumz’s generous gift will have a significant impact on our ability to continue to expand our outpatient services on our main campus in Madera, allowing us to serve more kids in the years ahead.”

Gumz was born and raised in Fresno to a family who had farmed grapes in California since the early 1900s. He graduated from Edison High School and spent his entire professional life as an accountant, first for a local developer and then with Vie-del Winery until his retirement in 1991. Gumz was remarkably generous, providing financial support to many causes he held close to his heart – including Valley Children’s, the Ronald McDonald House, Marjaree Mason Center and Fresno State’s Enology Department.

“Mr. Gumz’s kindness and foresight to devise an estate plan that translated his life’s work into direct impact on not only Valley Children’s but also other Central Valley charities is a remarkable story that must be shared as an example to us all,” said Dan Adams, chair of the Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors. “Mr. Gumz’s philanthropy will have a transformational effect on the Valley for a generation.”

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