I wish I could tell you all that I have led this incredibly exciting life and accomplished all the goals I had set for myself when I was young. That would be a lie. I never became the goalie of the Pittsburgh Penguins and I am not worth a billion dollars. But I have recently reached my goal of breaking 200 for the 1st time in 20 years by losing 72 pounds. I can now see my feet when I look down.
For the last 12 years, I have owned my own photography business, which I loved, because it allowed me to set my own schedule, and it allowed me to help take care of 2 of my grandsons. Unfortunately, I had to stop doing weddings due to a disease that caused me to have both of my hips replaced. After surgery, I just could not do all-day weddings anymore, and I ultimately had to close shop.
Prior to that, I worked as a drug counselor for 12 to 18-year-old boys that had been in trouble with drugs and law enforcement. Usually, their judge gave them the option of going to juvenile detention or a drug facility. Most of these boys guardians would choose the drug facility where I worked. There, we kept the boys for 21 days and nights. I loved that job and I’d still be doing it today, but I couldn’t take going to the funerals of kids that I got to know really well. I just went to one too many funerals. I was told to do the job, you cannot get close to the kids because some of them are going to die. I could not help but love the kids. In the end, too many kids died for me to continue working in that industry.
Over the years I have volunteered my photography services to Pathways, a women’s recovery home. I also volunteered with Moment by Moment, where I would take pictures for families that had a child with a terminal condition. Sometimes these pictures would be taken at a hospital, other times at home, or even at an event meant to celebrate their life. It all depended on where the family wanted me. Unfortunately, the woman that started Moment to Moment had to close her business. Most of my volunteer work has been with the MS society, covering their 3-day, 50-mile Challenge Walks, Bike fundraisers, Golf fundraisers, and their biggest event every year, the Formal Gala. One year, I was awarded the MS volunteer of the year.
I am still married to, and very much in love with my high school sweetheart, Mar (Marilyn), and we just celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. We have 3 adult children and 4 healthy grandchildren. There is nothing more important in my life than family. Not only my immediate family in CA, but my extended family back east in NY & PA. There I have 3 brothers, a sister, many nieces and nephews, aunt’s and uncles, and cousins. At the time of Tony’s death, he lived in Pittsburgh PA.
Our oldest Granddaughter, now 18 years old, lives with us and has for the last 4 years. I got the push I needed to start this non profit when she began filling out applications for colleges. I had come up with the idea of a scholarship the day of Tony’s gravesite memorial, and had asked one of my nephews if he would help me make a website; the website you are looking at right now.
I have found that I cannot sit idly by and continue to watch this happen to another student. These students are our future. Please help me invest in theirs!
Thank you very much for your generous donation. Please share this with everyone you know.
Board of Directors - Treasurer
When Randy Kaforey invited me to be involved in The Tony Kaforey Suicide Survivor Scholarship Corporation, it was a no brainer. I was more than happy to be part of a nonprofit that is so positive and can make such a difference in a young person’s life. I have worked with kids and young adults for most of my life, from a counselor at summer camps, to teaching and coaching high school age kids and as a physical therapist the past 20 years. I have witnessed the grief and suffering felt when a family member decides to take their life and how this can derail a young person’s dreams. I want to be part of something that gets them back on their journey.
I look forward to meeting and helping students continue their education. I am excited to be part of this non-profit organization and look forward to seeing it grow and make a difference for others.
When I get a break from work, I love mountain/road biking and backpacking, with my husband, in the Sierra’s or other amazing places like the Alps, or the Dolomites of Italy, or walking across England.
Board of Directors - Secretary
Being asked by Randy to be involved with The Tony Kaforey Suicide Survivor Scholarship Corporation was, and is an honor. I knew Tony from when he lived in San Diego and we played softball together. He was such a genuine personality and my kids loved him like he was their Uncle T.
I know a number of people whose lives have been affected by suicide and believe that this nonprofit could actually make a positive impact in the wake of something so tragic like the Pandemic.
When I get a break from work, I love spending time with my family and walking with friends and my dogs. I also love to cook and bake and try new recipes. Now I have another goal! and that’s to do everything I can to make Randy’s idea a success. When people read and hear about this idea, It’s gonna be hard to not donate.