WHOLE ME, Inc.’s CEO Chris Kovar was chosen by Leadership Greater Syracuse as a LGS Distinguished Community Leader award winner in their Community Trustee Individual category! She will be honored on April 29th, 2015 with fellow award winners, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and LGS Alumni Achievement award winners, Renee and Tim Duffy. Congratulations Chris! This is because of your strong and persistent leadership that you have made an impact in not only the greater Syracuse area but in the Deaf Community as well! We are very proud of you!
The staff at Whole Me Inc. wants to congratulate our very own Youth Director Lindsay Ryan Anthony, and her running partner, Danielle Strassle, for crossing the finish line after a grueling 26 mile marathon in Los Angeles! We watched them grow and blossom into runners over the past year, helped sponsor their trip, and cheered them on from the sidelines. Their next plan is to run in the prestigious New York City Marathon in November of 2015. We will be fully behind Lindsay and Danielle again and cheering loudly for them! Congratulations on an amazing feat!
WHOLE ME, Inc. is proud to recognize Ms. Tamla Htoo and Ms. Monu Chetri as Community Volunteers for local Deaf Refugees. Tamla and Monu relocated to Syracuse, NY from Refugee Camps in Thailand and Bhutan. Both of these young women know first-hand how terrifying it is to relocate to new country and try to learn the language, culture and laws especially when you cannot hear. Deaf children living in refugee camps are widely ignored, isolated, abused and receive little to no education. This had been their experience up until the time they arrived in America.
These experiences would be devastating for most people; however these two young women have found a positive way to use their past to benefit other deaf refugees in our CNY Community. Tamla and Monu spend the majority of their time teaching the refugees American Sign Language and helping them to become acclimated to life in a new country. Tamla has successfully become a United States citizen and Monu is in the process, hoping to take the US Citizen Test soon.
Their “Never Give Up” attitude is an inspiration to not only the deaf refugees whom they serve but to the community-at-large, proving that the human spirit can thrive despite overwhelming hardship. WHOLE ME, Inc. thanks these two incredible young women for being such strong role-models to us all.
There are no words to adequately express the sadness that is in my heart as I write these words. Bob Frank, who has been with WHOLE ME since we started 11 years ago passed away this week from cancer. During his time with us Bob has been a faithful and devoted supporter of the WHOLE ME mission; he’s been a cheerleader, a critic (when necessary) and most importantly a true friend and confidant since day one. Although I know that he is in a place of peace and beauty, I feel a deep sense of loss for all of us.
Over the years, Bob played a variety of roles from board member to master electrician when we needed a little work done in the office to “Bill Nye, The Science Guy” with his crazy hats at the after-school program. The kids loved him and he loved them. He was their biggest supporter and he would do anything to make sure that the kids in the after-school program had what they needed. Even when he was in Florida Bob would call the office to check on us and give us the weather report from whatever golf course he was on, especially when it was particularly cold and snowy here in Syracuse!
Right now our hearts are heavy but we are trying to be positive because that’s what Bob would want. Although we may never understand why such good people are taken from us much too soon, I know that Bob will live in the hearts of those who loved him forever and I, for one, feel so blessed to have had such a cherished friend, mentor and colleague
Godspeed my friend, until we meet again…