The 2017 Susan Fund annual awards reception took place on Sunday, June 25th at the Easton Library. Long-time Board member, Ed Grossman, noted, “In this current time of stress and unhappiness, it is always a pleasure to attend an event that is both stress-free and happy for all of the attendees. The rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the students and their guests. Our recipients are sure to make for a better world.”
Susan Fund Chair, Ann Lloyd, welcomed attendees and recalled that, when The Susan Fund began, it awarded $ 3,000 dollars to six recipients. This year, the Fund awarded scholarships totaling $62,500 to 22 recipients from fourteen communities in Fairfield County.
David Lloyd, Susan’s brother, shared some precious memories of his sister. “Susan dealt with her diagnosis with grit and grace. She lived those last months of her life beautifully and bravely. Susan motivates and inspires me every day. My mom is the engine of The Susan Fund. She took the worst thing that can happen in life and channeled her heartache and uncommon strength into creating The Fund. It is a tribute to her and to my sister.”
This year’s speaker was four-time Susan Fund scholarship recipient Nicole Graham, who is a senior at Dartmouth College majoring in Psychology and Economics. Nicole reflected, “I never wanted cancer to limit me and I didn’t let it! My greatest joy is being able to attend my dream school and to graduate with my class. I want to thank The Susan Fund for helping ease some of my family’s financial burden.”
The scholarships were awarded by Board member, Kathy DiGiovanna, who eloquently described each of the recipients. She stated, “They become part of our Susan Fund family. They are our inspiration and teachers.” Board member Diane Karazulas echoed Kathy’s sentiments, “Every year I am happy and excited to see the recipients and their families at the reception. They are always filled with excitement and determination about the future. I feel grateful to know them and am inspired by their lives.”
Brandon Held, a four-time recipient (2007-2010) and current Board member of The Susan Fund, wrote, “Attending the 2017 reception filled me with just as much, if not more, pride in our organization than my first reception 10 years ago. Over the years, each of our recipients’ stories never disappoints. They are unbelievably fascinating individuals who time-and-time again continue to strengthen our community in a myriad of ways. I look forward to attending the next decade of Susan Fund receptions.”