How did you get involved in KRC?
Throughout my professional career in education I volunteered at Maryville, helping whenever I could. I worked closely with Erin Verry (then-director of Alumni Relations) whenever possible, especially at class reunion time. We had a very supportive class, (’72) so I wanted our reunion experiences to be memorable. I was dubbed a “class agent”!
Once I retired from my administrative role as a school principal, I felt indebted to Maryville and wanted to give back. So I called Erin again hoping she could help to keep me involved in my alma mater. We met for lunch and caught up on the past. She was not totally aware that we had lost our son and our granddaughter to cancer.
She immediately let me know about the KRC program, which was beginning to take wings of its own. She arranged another luncheon with Liz Haynes, who was in charge of the program. Liz had asked me if I would like to serve on the advisory board. Because I had answered “Yes,” Liz arranged for me to meet Tom Eschen (former vice president for Institutional Advancement) and Bob Mills (chair of the Kids Rock Cancer Advisory Council), again for lunch.
This will be my fifth year serving on the board. I have supported the program whenever I could by attending meetings and functions, and working at fundraisers.
Why are you passionate about KRC?
At first I knew very little about the program and a lot about childhood cancer, Cardinal Glennon and Friends of Kids with Cancer. As I mentioned, our granddaughter experienced a 10-year battle with cancer, from age 3 to 13, trying to keep up with what her peers were doing both in and out of school while she was undergoing full blown treatment and everything it brought into her little world.
We were there for her every step of the way, being witnesses to the positive impact such programs as music and art therapy can have on a child that just wants to smile and laugh every now and then.
I am passionate to keep programs like KRC alive for the children who just hope for a good day, something we too often take for granted.