President’s Report for Spring 2020

By GG President Doug Whalley (’63)

Stay safe!

We all feel very vulnerable, and I can only hope that you are safe and well. In March, Golden Grads officers and committee chairs voted unanimously to cancel the June 3rd Spring Luncheon. Although we couldn’t predict what restrictions would be in place in June, we needed to make an early decision about the luncheon to avoid confusion. We also anticipated that many members would stay home even if attendance was possible. We have become the cautious generation.

Hard Times for Roosevelt High

. . . and every other school in the State. All Washington public and private schools are closed because of the coronavirus epidemic. Two weeks before the schools closed, Roosevelt staff contacted Golden Grads with a request:

I’m writing to request support of some necessary supplies for the library and the main office in an effort to prevent the spread of colds, flu and the recent COVID-19 virus. Both the library and main office are central points of interaction in the school, and experience considerable potential for transmission of bacteria and viruses. We’re in need of tissues, Lysol wipes and 32 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer. The district recommends these items but does not supply them.

Of course, our Teacher’s Wish List Committee immediately confirmed we would fund the request. The school received the items the next day, and for the two weeks that they remained open they were better able to cope with the epidemic. Anything not used up will be available when they reopen. I find it interesting that the funding came from the Golden Grads, the people most vulnerable to the virus, but we are all safer when our neighbors’ kids or our own grandkids do not bring the virus home from school.

The Scholarship Programs and Teacher Grants Will Survive

Antonia Filigno Clark ’53, Merit Scholarship Chair, and Jeri Mortensen Kronmal ’60, Special Scholarships Chair, are working with the school to make sure the winners are selected, and our scholarships are awarded. Interviews for Merit Scholarships will be conducted online. In addition to the special request for health supplies discussed above, the Teachers’ Wish List Committee, chaired by Marilyn Meyer Sizer ’63, had completed approval of all their grants. However, if teachers were unable to spend the money for supplies or programs before the closure, the committee will work with them in the Fall and fund those requests that are still needed.

Some Good News: A Major Donation to the Golden Grads

Last Fall I was contacted by Diane Cain Fiduccia, Class of 1962. She is a trustee of the James and Grace Cain Charitable Foundation established by her parents. Diane announced a $10,000 donation to Golden Grads from their Foundation, which will allow us to grant two additional college scholarships this year, for a total of twelve. Thank you, Diane! The process of selecting students and awarding the scholarships this year is impacted by the school closure, but Scholarship Chair Antonia Filigno Clark ’53 has stayed in contact with school counselors and her committee is working to keep the scholarship program on track.

New Officers

Welcome to Jean Druby Birdsall ’64, who started last Fall as our Finance Chair, replacing the retiring Jerry Walton ’60, and to Carol Koppel Hutchinson ‘63, our new Membership Records coordinator, replacing Judy Flournoy Harwood ‘51. Both Jerry and Judy served for many years, and their service to Golden Grads is greatly appreciated. Our officers work amazingly well together because of our shared passion for Roosevelt.

We Now Take Credit Cards

You may have noticed that some people today do not use checks, instead relying on credit cards and electronic money transfers. In the Spring issue of Grapevine, we discuss how to pay your dues or give donations using a credit card.