Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation

Last night I had the privileged of attending the scholarship awards for the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to give scholarships to students with disabilities.

The story of how I got involved with the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation is a fun one (at least for me). I had just moved into my office. Heck, I hadn't even started to unpack when Catherine Gavalas (now Price) called me up. I was shocked that my phone rang because I didn't know it was hooked up yet. Catherine introduced herself to me over the phone and I sat there wondering where in the world she heard about me (I barely knew I was there).

It was from that phone call five years ago that I become involved my first ever James Island Connector Run (the main fund raiser for the organization).

Upon reflection, little did I know when I got that call five years ago, that I would have a son with disabilities. Being at that ceremony yesterday, I will admit that it gave me a hope that my son will be there one day receiving this scholarship. I would love for my son to become like Alex (one of the winners yesterday who I have gotten to know). Whenever I talk with Alex, I see what my son will be able to do and it gives me tremendous hope. Being a parent of a child with special needs, many times doubt and despair creep into your mind. You feel a fear for your child that is hard to describe other than as being terrified for them.

So to the GKF folks and Alex, I thank you for that hope. It is a feeling that I truly treasure and for that, I will always feel that no matter what I can do for you - it will not be enough to repay you for what you give to me.


Post Script: When I first got involved with the GKF, it was the people who were involved in the race that got me hooked, first Catherine and then her dad Nick and his compatriot Ron. To this day, every time I met someone associated with the race, it is a person I want to associate with. These are good people. Even as Catherine has passed on 'race goddess duties' to Dana, the event has not missed a beat and continues to be my favorite event of the year. If you are looking for a charity to support that really does affect people's lives in a positive way, please consider the GKF. Their work is tremendous and the dollars donated really do go to where they should go.

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