Adapted from the announcement of the Susan Eitelman Dean Scholarship
at the Annual Community Appreciation Picnic, September 22, 2012
Thank you all for coming.
You've heard from some of our Board members and they've all been introduced...but it's obvious there is someone missing today. Someone we all miss tremendously and who has left a huge hole in our Board. Susan Eitelman Dean. Susan was my Co-President and was taken from us after a fatal stroke back in March.
I actually met Susan through our mutual work with Get Pumped. Mandy had spoke with me about taking on the President role, but I felt like it was more than I could manage on my own. When she told me that "Susan Dean" was interested in volunteering and would make an excellent partner, I was all ears. Mandy believed that we would both bring great qualities to the Board and provide a good leadership team. It was easy for me to immediately see where Susan would fill my shortcomings. I'm still not really convinced she really had any of her own.
As Susan and I got to know each other, and became friends, we would often meet in the morning at the Chik-fil-a at Waterford. Generally we used these times to talk about our goals and hopes for Get PUMPed! and how to mold and guide the direction the organization was headed in. We used these times to also become better friends and better understand one another so we could present a united front. Susan's depth of compassion was always apparent in these conversations and her passionate desire to help other families during a time of crisis was not debatable.
One thing that we both felt strongly about, and often found ourselves discussing, was the small administrative fee that we ask recipient families to pay. We both felt that these families were already struggling with difficult situations and hated to add another burden to their pile by asking for this fee. We spoke of hopes of one day, Get PUMPed! being solvent enough to not have to ask for this fee.
So, it seemed that one of the best ways we could honor her, her work, her goals, and her compassion was to establish a scholarship fund to help families that would otherwise struggle to pay the meager fee we request. This scholarship will be available to any recipient family that has been approved by the Board and would otherwise be unable to accept donated milk due to this cost. I believe with all my heart that Susan would be proud that we had found a way to make sure the money NEVER prevents a hungry baby from getting mother's milk.
As a small gesture of establishing this scholarship, we've put together a shadow box, containing the wreath that GP provided at Susan's memorial service. We'd like to give this to her wonderful husband and son, knowing that they were what motivated her love of family, and compassion for others...and ultimately, provided the spark that will fuel us to continue to do better and help other families.
Wreath presentation at the 2012 Annual Community Appreciation Picnic
Photo courtesy of PNA Art
Susan and her son
Susan's Memorial Wreath