Last December 11, old friends and new gathered to pay tribute to FCA’s 25th Anniversary of service to caregivers.The memorable event was held in the beautiful surroundings of The City Club in San Francisco, where Founders, Board members, clients, colleagues and other friends reminisced about the past and celebrated the present.
Former Board member Dan Ahern was eloquent in his praise of FCA, and spoke movingly of what the organization meant to his family:
“Seventeen years ago, my mother, Rose, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, confirming those horrible suspicions my sister, dad and I held privately for a couple of years, fearing the worst, but not knowing what to do with our fear.
“My first call was to FCA. They offered advice, direction, structure and hope.They offered me a bridge that my family could take from our island of fear and desperation to a place where we could find help…. It is because of FCA that I was able to take my heartache and turn my family’s heartache into the legacy that FCA truly represents. It is through FCA that families can meet challenges head-on with a safety net, with a strategy, with the resources to build those bridges and keep them open.”
We’re honored and gratified by Dan’s kind words. And we look forward to a future of continued service to our heroes: those dedicated families, who care—without compensation, often 24 hours a day, seven days a week—for the elderly, ill and frail in our society.
My warmest congratulations on celebrating Family Caregiver Alliance’s 25th Anniversary of exemplary service to caregivers. Through your persistent efforts on behalf of the dedicated families who care for their frail or ill relatives at home, you have accomplished a great deal. With the replication of the Family Caregiver Alliance program, Californians throughout the state have access to support services. And you have served as a model for the National Family Caregiver Support Program as well. Your work has touched the lives of so many, both within and outside of California.
The success of FCA is particularly inspiring in demonstrating how a small, grassroots effort can ultimately shape state and even national policy. Cofounders Anne Bashkiroff and Suzanne Harris are especially to be commended for their willingness to make their private sorrows public, allowing legislators and the media to understand the personal impact of caregiving. These issues were not in the public eye until these two San Francisco women spoke, with clarity and conviction, about their experiences and the need for assistance.
I am pleased to acknowledge Family Caregiver Alliance’s tireless efforts, and to recognize the exceptional leadership of FCA in the field of long-term caregiving. I hope as you reflect on the last 25 years of success, and as you look forward to many more years of outstanding service, you continue to speak out for families who take on the challenges fo providing care at home to their loved ones. My best wishes for a memorable and successful celebration.
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