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Estate of Fresno Accountant Gifts $4M to Valley Children's Hospital
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 4 years ago on
July 29, 2020

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The estate of accountant Donald Emil Gumz continues to bless greater Fresno — this time with a $4 million gift to Valley Children’s Hospital.

Portrait of Todd Suntrapak, president/CEO, Valley Children's Healthcare

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.” — Todd Suntrapak, president and CEO, Valley Children’s Healthcare 

The donation will be recognized in a new outpatient center planned at the healthcare campus in Madera County.

“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,” said Todd Suntrapak, president and CEO of Valley Children’s Healthcare.

“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 Estate Donated $4.66 to Fresno State in May

In May, the Gumz estate announced a $4.66 million donation to support Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The gift provided $3.7 million toward the renovation of the university’s research winery while the other $933,000 was earmarked for the Center for Irrigation Technology.

The enology building at Fresno State, which includes the research winery, will be named the Donald E. Gumz Enology Building.

A Lifetime of Giving

Gumz, who died in September 2018 at the age of 84, was born and raised in Fresno. He graduated from Edison High School and though Gumz came from a family of grape growers, he became an accountant. His professional career started with a local entrepreneur and developer and ended with the Vie-Del Company, which makes brandy, wine, and juice concentrates.

“(He) was a true son of the San Joaquin Valley,” said David Zoldoske, trustee of the estate and Gumz cousin. “As part of his legacy, he wanted to provide for the greater Fresno region to leave it better than ever before. His estate will fund programs that help children, students, women, the homeless, and our senior citizens. Mr. Gumz left a significant contribution to Valley Children’s knowing that improving the health of the young will positively benefit the Central Valley for generations to come.”

During his lifetime, Gumz supported organizations fighting hunger and abuse, and promoting children’s health and the arts. Recipients included Valley Children’s, Marjaree Mason Center, Poverello House, Fresno Art Museum, Ronald McDonald House, and Hinds Hospice.

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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