The 32nd Annual Susan Fund awards ceremony was held on June 23rd in Southport. The event was more special this year because it took place at the Center for Survivorship, which was established in 2012 by cancer survivor and former Susan Fund recipient, Jeff Keith. The facility is the nation’s first center of its type. Its mission is to enhance the lives of cancer survivors through providing services such as yoga, pilates, meditation, nutrition and education.
The reception began with a sumptuous buffet and a tour of the facility. Jeff welcomed the families and invited guests. He reflected, “We all find something that helps us deal with cancer. My mission is to empower survivors to lead a healthy lifestyle. I am delighted that this Susan Fund reception is the first official event that we have hosted.”
Ann Lloyd, Chair and Founder of The Susan Fund and mother of Susan Davis Lloyd, for whom the fund was established, noted, “Since The Fund was established in 1982, we have awarded 685 scholarships totaling over $1,350, 000. We are so proud of what we do and of all of our recipients.”
David Lloyd then shared his memories about his sister. “To me Susan is still the seventeen year old kid with long, blonde hair. She possessed a kind, caring spirit, a joie de vivre, an energetic life force. I am in awe of the positive mental attitude she maintained as she battled cancer. She would not let it dictate the terms of her life. The treatment went on throughout her senior year while Susan continued her studies, applied to college and worked two jobs. Her spirit is echoed in the eyes of The Susan Fund recipients. I am so proud of all of you and the futures that are before you.”
The day’s events continued to tug at the audience’s heartstrings with a performance by four-time Susan Fund Scholarship recipient Christina Carpanzano, a musical theater major at Manhattanville College. She sang “Make Someone Happy,” a song which captures the spirit of The Susan Fund. “Make someone happy. Make just one someone happy and you will be happy too.”
The 2013 Recipient Speaker was Alexander Polyakov, a four-time Susan Fund recipient and a senior at Tufts University. He reflected, “Throughout my four years in college, the Board of The Susan Fund understood me and was excited about what I was doing. I treasure their financial and personal support. I promise to take this experience and turn it into a springboard for my future.”
Board member, Kathy DiGiovanna concluded the program by presenting the scholarships to the 28 recipients. She stated, “This year’s recipients are an academically talented group of young cancer survivors. Their stories inspire us with their courage and teach us how to live our lives with a new perspective.”