Marianne Wright with her mother Nancy Kearney
Our 2021 Gratitude Report reflects on the Fiscal Year July 2020 – June 2021, and so I share this column with outgoing HFS Board President Susan Chakmakian, who was not only president of the board during the past fiscal year, but also ran a business, was raising a kindergartener, and moved to Texas! HFS thanks Susan for her 5 years on the HFS Board, and the last 3 years as President. We wish her and her family all the best on their new adventure!
I am grateful to be taking on the presidency of the HFS Board of Directors once again, and have at my side long time supporter and veteran board member Joseph Zanetta as Vice President and The Rev. Nathan Biornstad as Secretary, rounding out the Executive Board. We welcome Elaine Tomonis and The Rev. Guy Leemhuis to the board, and thank Deno Kidde (6 years) Trecia Simmonds (3 years) and Sr. Julie Fertsch (1 year) for their service. I’d also like to acknowledge both Megan Bloomer and Lizette Espinosa who were unable to complete their terms due to personal reasons.
It’s been a hard and challenging year, and remains so as I write this column. While our Gratitude Report in 2020 reflected only a few months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this 2021 Gratitude Report reflects an entire year working with the ebbs and flows of the ever changing CDC directives and the emergence of the Delta Variant. I would like to recognize the valiant efforts of our HFS staff, particularly our Executive Director Julie Brown, who continues to lead our agency into the breach of this “new world.”
The Cohen Dobbins family pictured on the front of the Gratitude Report is an HFS success story. Peter, an infant when adopted through HFS, is now a freshman at Pasadena High School, and thriving. You can find more about their story on the HFS website.
Like Peter, I also am an adoption success story. I feel privileged to be a representative of this special way of creating a family. I believe that my work with HFS is a way to pay forward the blessings of adoption, and I thank all of our donors, volunteers, and staff, who continue to make that happen, every day of the year at HFS!