I retired from the Board of Directors of The Trevor Project in December. Trevor was a huge and wonderful part of my life for many years. Being there for the next generation remains a passion of mine. Here is my departure message to the board.
Dear Trevor Board Members –
After 8 Cracked Xmas events, 7 Years as a Trevor Volunteer, and nearly 6 Years on the Board, I retired from the Board of Directors of The Trevor Project last Monday. The time was right and it was the right decision for me and for the organization. I was able to make some comments at the end of year board brunch and I share them here, with a few additions, for you all.
Thinking about my time with Trevor made me look back at my first board book.
At the end of 2002 the organization set the 2003 Budget goal at $300,000. The entire budget, not just Cracked Xmas. (2.1 mill this year)
In February, 2003 the Helpline received 189 calls. (In November, 2007, 1,500 calls and over 18,000 calls for help answered in 2008)
Other goals for the year included improving the Trevor Web Site, creating and launching Suicide Awareness Poster for Schools, diversifying fundraising to include more Grants and Foundations, and increasing the number, and diversity, of Board Members. I think that we have done amazing work in these areas and it is interesting that they remain continuous themes.
My two funny stories were:
Back in the early days meeting a man named Al Strasburg at a political fundraising event. We spoke for a few minutes and he asked me what I did for a living. I told him, “oh that’s boring let me tell you about this organization that I volunteer for.” I then proceeded to give him my 3 minute Trevor talking points. To which he then introduced himself as a member of the Trevor Board. We can always be a Trevor Ambassador.
When I used to be in the thick of all things Cracked Xmas (5, 6, 7, 8 ) and coordinating over 200 Volunteers throughout the weekend I was madly racing back to the Wiltern and was cut off by this guy on Crescent Heights Blvd. I gave him pumped fists and the look of death. “Get out of my way” Not two hours later I was meeting future board member Scott Zimmerman in the lobby. Oops.
I’m sure that there are many other stories and anecdotes, and a few skeletons, which will be in my book.
I have to thank you all, and all of the other board members and volunteers that have graced us before. I especially have to thank:
James, Peggy, and Randy; I’ve said this before, and will continue to, you changed my life and I am forever grateful.
Jeff Hobbs, longtime Trevor Volunteer who introduced me to
Sean McManus, a fearless and visionary leader, and my dear, dear friend, who introduced me to
Jorge Valencia, who took me under his wing, and lead by example, and brought me onto the board where I met
Brenda Freiberg, who graciously welcomed me onto the team and, frankly, put me right to work, where I then met
Kristin Odermatt, who also treated me immediately like an equal but made Trevor always fun, fun, fun, and was often my date as
Jim Murphy, prior to being on the board, sponsored me to go out in the community and hone my skills to represent Trevor.
David Anderson and Ryan Zynger were right there with me in the formation of the Volunteer Committee and have never looked back, only forward, to make the committee and the Trevor Volunteer Experience a shining example. Rock on!
Ricky Strauss is the person that I would pick first to be on my team, any team. Serving with Ricky in our Vice Chair roles, especially during the transition and the re-birth to Trevor 2.0, and I do have the scars, was an experience I will not forget.
Sean and Ricky, it was tough but we did it!
David McFarland seamlessly, and without hesitation, stepped into the Vice Chair role and made my painful decision that much easier.
And finally, thanks to the Gift Bag Sponsors because I have not had to purchase Shampoo in 8 years. True!
I have truly been blessed by my Trevor Volunteer Experience. I know that we have collectively changed lives and saved lives. And we have done so with passion, dedication, and humor. I leave knowing that good people are doing good things to help our next generation. As my hero, Harvey Milk, said, “You, and you, and you, you got to give them hope”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvfexvihri8