03 May 2020

Comments from a Supporter

My first GoFundMe supporter gave me permission to post this. She only wanted her identity private, not her comment. For this post, we shall call her "Jane" - with apologies, for she is far from being plain.

We spoke a couple of days ago, chatting about our very different situations in very different locations, as well as our respective reactions to the ever-changing and challenging day-to-day issues we face in this "age of COVID". Something she said to me, which is mentioned in her comment here, struck me deeply. It serves as a reminder for why I am doing what I am doing, despite issues that are adding pressure to my existing anxieties.


The year was 2001. I lived in Connecticut and besides holding down graphic design jobs, I was a consultant for an event that was scheduled for September 15th of that year. As the primary organizers for the event wanted to cancel everything due to the tragedy of 9/11, I convinced them otherwise. I pulled every marketing spin I knew and convinced them to continue with the original event (a classic car show) and to expand the original purpose (raising funds for the local United Way chapter while raising awareness for some new websites) to help those affected by the fall of the Twin Towers in NYC. Of particular focus was to help the family members of those Connecticut First Responders who went to help - and never came home.

I met Jane while ramping up the event in the parking lot of the local mall. We became fast friends as we worked together to organize the inundation of incoming vehicles - far more than what was originally planned for! People all the way from Canada heard about the event and drove down with their classic hot-rods to show support for the event and people. People from all over New England dropped off clothing, food, blankets, and money. Originally we were planning to give away printed tee-shirts of the event, we wound up auctioning off the last few shirts after selling the entire lot within minutes. We generated so many donations, I lost track.

Most of the week prior, the day of, and months after the event are a foggy blur for me. But Jane remembers.

From a Different Perspective

I have a hard time talking about 9/11; especially about what I saw on uncensored CCTV broadcast live from dozens of news cameras mounted on buildings around New York City. I have an even harder time grappling with the emotions that still, to this day, grab my heart and freeze me in the middle of whatever I'm doing. I struggle right now, simply typing this paragraph.

Jane is surprised at this - saying I was a dervish of activity when getting this event off the ground, running, cleaning up, and finalizing the details. "I was amazed someone had that much capacity for strength and action while much of us just wanted to sit in shock," is her comment. She mentioned the professional manner in which I carried myself when discussing the immediate changes to the event with the managers of the mall. The way I negotiated with the local police department for traffic control and pedestrian safety. How I reorganized the flow of people (sooo many people!) with minimal issues. She described my ability to connect with all sorts of people, from millionaires to homeless, getting them to do what was needed. "I wondered at the magic you spun that week and especially that day. How you not only helped thousands of people feel more at ease but inspired them with your own ability to carry onward."

Intuitive Genius

People have called me an intuitive genius, including Jane. I am wise enough to know that it takes more than intuition and passion to accomplish business goals and lead others. This is why I am returning to school, and have committed myself to Wesleyan College. The discipline of education along with the network of people that are formed in college is what I've been lacking through my entire career. Wesleyan, being a small college, promises to deliver a solid degree with a focus on women's issues. My intuition tells me this is the right direction for me. Wesleyan College offered me a scholarship once, and I turned it away. Not this time.

I admit to being wrong for much of my life by dismissing the need for a pedigree in my field.

Thank you, Jane, for helping me toward my goal. I hope your contribution inspires others to help me as well.

And to you, dear reader, if you wish to help me with my goal of getting to Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, please feel free to click the icon below and contribute. Aloha nui loa.

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