The 2018 Susan Fund Awards Ceremony
The mood at the annual Susan Fund Awards Ceremony is always one of joy as we honor the courage, determination and achievements of the recipients. This year’s event took place on Sunday, June 24th at the Easton Library. Ann Lloyd, Susan Fund President, welcomed the students and their guests. She noted, “This year we are delighted to award $ 50,000 in scholarships to eighteen outstanding applicants. It is always touching to reflect on how far we’ve come. During our first year, we awarded $ 3,000 to six recipients.” What a tribute this is to Susan’s memory.
Diane Karazulus, Board member and Susan’s friend, shared her memories. “Susan was a classmate of mine. The impact she has had on my life continues today. I always remember her beautiful long blond hair, great smile and sparkly eyes, but most of all her upbeat personality. In the beginning of our senior year of high school, Susan was diagnosed with cancer and had part of her leg amputated….As she became weaker, her spirit never wavered. I couldn’t believe that with all she had to endure physically and emotionally, Susan would build me up with her with her presence. I am a breast cancer survivor, and through it all, I remembered Susan and prayed I would have the grace she exuded throughout her short life. I am tremendously honored to be on this terrific Board, but, more significantly, to keep Susan’s memory alive and remember her wonderful, inspiring spirit.”
(Diane’s entire speech can be found in the article About Susan Davis Lloyd.)
The Board selected Katie Lovallo as this year’s keynote speaker. Because she was interning for Navy JAG in Washington, DC, her mother, Kari, delivered her speech.
“My name is Kari Lovallo, I am the proud mom of Katherine Lovallo, a seven-time Susan Fund Scholarship recipient. Before you stands the Mom that will do anything for her daughter. So I will ask that you use your imagination – pretend that I am a 24 year old woman with her whole life ahead of her. These are Kate’s words:
People often laugh when I say, “Everything happens for a reason” because it’s a cliche. In my heart of hearts I believe it to be the truth. I believe that God only gives us what we can handle. Each of us in this room have had to overcome hurdles as high as mountains; hurdles that are unimaginable. Because of our endless strength and support systems, we were selected to carry such a burden so that those who could not handle it, wouldn’t have to. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” As I grow older, I see my cancer as a blessing in disguise. At just thirteen years old, my experience taught me that every moment of every day is purposeful. I learned to take control and become my own biggest advocate, as God saw potential in me to overcome my illness. This experience has shown me that we have strong families outside of our own homes. The biggest blessing of all is certainly my Susan Fund family. For seven years, you all have welcomed me with open arms and have selflessly shared your strength with us during a time we really needed it. I cannot thank The Board enough for allowing me to be a part of Susan’s story.”
Board member, Kathy Di Giovanna, concluded the ceremony by awarding the scholarships. Each award was preceded by an eloquent description of each student and presented with a hug!
Board member, Jeff Booth, summed up the day. “The annual Susan Fund reception is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s such an honor to meet the candidates during the interview process. It’s great to see them once again and to meet their parents and friends. It truly brings The Susan Fund family together in a touching tribute to these brave and inspiring individuals.”