Celebrating Fred’s 70th Birthday


Today, my dad would have turned 70 years old. Although it has been 16 years since we lost him, there are many days that it still feels surreal. I often think about how much has changed since his passing and imagine what he would say if he were here today. (For those of you who knew him, you KNOW he wouldn’t hold anything back!)

Like many of us, he would have a love/hate relationship with technology, oscillating between awe at what he could do with an iPhone (the camera roll would be full!) and wanting to throw it at the wall. I know he would be frustrated by how technology has caused a lack of personal contact, and he would try his hardest to hold on to those in-person connections. As much as he shined in front of a large audience, it was the one-on-one time that he relished most.

He would simply adore his grandkids, but would torture them relentlessly with pranks and practical jokes. He would poke fun at their TikTok dances, but he would be the loudest and most passionate on the sidelines at sports events.

I also know that he would be deeply concerned about the effects of the pandemic on families in our community and the world; but, he would want to roll up his sleeves, shift into action, and figure out how he could be part of the solution. He would remind us that for problems that seem insurmountable, one person can’t solve it all; but, we can work together to move the needle in the right direction.

Of all the things we have accomplished at Fred’s Footsteps, I know my dad would be most proud of our work over the last year. In March, at a time when it would be so easy to be paralyzed by uncertainty, our board and staff chose action. We established our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund—which to-date has supported over 500 families—to meet the growing needs of the community and provide immediate financial relief during the greatest moments of uncertainty.

Every day, we do this work with pride in his honor, because I know it’s what he would do if he were here with us today.

As we celebrate him on his 70th birthday today, I hope you will join us in committing to supporting families in our community when they need it most. In addition to being an extremely convenient option, your monthly, reoccurring donation to Fred’s Footsteps allows us to focus on deepening our impact with the incredible families we serve. No matter the size of the gift, each donation will help families stay on the right path forward and provide hope during their darkest days.