The Awards Ceremony by Susan Baron
The Susan Fund’s Thirty-eighth Annual Awards Ceremony was held on Sunday, June 23rd at the Easton Library Community Room. It was a beautiful, bright summer day and the mood was one of happiness and excitement. Every year, when the Board meets with each of the scholarship applicants, we end our time together by inviting them, their family and friends to attend the event. I don’t think they are quite prepared for the feelings of connection they experience when they enter the room. They are surrounded by people who have been on a similar journey – who understand without having to speak!
Ann Lloyd, Susan Fund Chair, welcomed the scholarship recipients and their guests. She noted, “This year we awarded twenty scholarships to students throughout Fairfield County. There were six recipients from the town of Fairfield. The Fund was established in 1989 in memory of my daughter, Susan Davis Lloyd. Her courageous battle with cancer is honored by enabling these scholars to fulfill her dream of attending college.”
Wally Meyer, Susan’s step-father and long-time supporter of The Susan Fund, reminisced about Susan. “She was an amazing runner and was incredibly fast. In her sophomore year, her relay team came in second in the state. She was also a devoted fan of the TV show General Hospital. As she began her treatment, Susan was determined to keep life as normal as possible for us all. Post-surgery, she returned to work at the Fine Arts Cinema. Throughout her battle, it was overwhelming to see the support and love Susan received from her family and community. It’s wonderful that three of her classmates, Kelly Frey Pollard, Jeff Booth and Diane Karazulas, are on The Susan Fund Board I am honored to be a supporter of The Susan Fund.” Wally’s remarks were followed by Heather Stabinsky, who represented this year’s scholarship recipients. She described her journey and what being part of The Susan Fund meant to her.
The program concluded with the presentation of the scholarships by Board member, Kathy DiGiovanna. She described the recipients’ journeys and never fails to capture their essence. “They teach us grit, determination and are our role models. Lesley Palange, Board member and past recipient of a Susan Fund scholarship noted, “The reception is a yearly reunion of The Susan Fund family. Recipients, friends, family and Board members listen to the amazing accomplishments and aspirations of remarkable students. The afternoon is truly heartwarming. Fellow Board member Jeff Booth wrote, “The annual awards ceremony is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s an honor to again speak with the recipients and meet their loved ones. I can’t help but be inspired by their stories and journeys.”
Kelly Frey Pollard added, “The annual reception is a highlight of the year second to none. Hearing Wally Meyer, Susan’s stepfather, reminisce about Susan brought me right back to the late 70’s and 1980. My mind flashed to the Fine Arts Cinema looking over at Susan’s beautiful long blond hair, smiling as she cheerfully greeted each customer as she sold them tickets. Then I was back in the car driving with Susan spending a weekend looking at colleges. Lunch with brother, Will, at one of Union’s cafeterias, a college tour, an interview and a dorm sleepover at St. Lawrence, our last evening at Colgate to see brother, David, and get an introduction to fraternity life. It was such a great weekend. Thank you, Wally, for giving me a few minutes with Susan again.”