Below, I am reproducing the talk I gave at our 20th Anniversary Gala on October 17th. It was a great party, attended by over 200 of our staunchest supporters from Western Massachusetts, as well as people from Boston, New York City, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York City, and the Albany, NY area. I’m sharing my words with you, because many of you could not make it.
My daughter, Jenn, and I just returned from a very quick trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend the sixth event in our 20/20/20 program. As you may recall the Rosenberg Fund for Children currently is staging 20 events over a 20 month period to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Last Saturday’s RFC reception in Seattle, the second event in a series of 20 to celebrate our 20th anniversary, was a big success. Once again, we had a bigger crowd and raised more than we anticipated. Those who attended were very engaged. I was particularly impressed by the lively in-depth discussion we had after my talk. We ended by addressing the issue of the RFC’s definition of “political prisoner.”
Last Sunday my daughter, Jenn, and I drove through the Berkshires to Albany, NY, on a sparkling sunny afternoon, to attend the opening reception of the RFC’s 20/20/20 program. As I’ve written here before, starting this September and ending in April 2011, the Rosenberg Fund for Children will stage 20 events over a 20 month period to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It was just coincidence that the first event took place on September 20th.
I started working full-time for the RFC on the day after Labor Day in 1990. I always mark the beginning of the RFC’s year from this point. That’s the reason why this week is special for me, and this year it is even more so because we are beginning our 20th anniversary celebrations.
Monday, September 4th, 1990 was the first day I spent as the Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. As September 4th approaches each year, I find myself reflecting on one of the biggest turning points of my life.
At the time it seemed like a leap into the unknown. And it also felt like a terrifying responsibility. A small group of financial backers, a portion of whom were also friends had placed their faith in my ability to build a progressive public foundation that would provide for the educational and emotional needs of the children of targeted activists.