In the good ol’ days, things were better, larger, different. How often do we hear the good ol’ days remembered as though they were always much better than today?
2011 was an interesting year for Summit. We had some good times and some disappointments. However, no matter how bad things were for others, by surviving another year, we made it.
Before 2011 is boxed up and archived, we would like to take a moment and single out four important lessons learned this year:
- Someday, today will be considered the good ol’ days;
- For all its imperfections, Summit is our Camelot;
- Inspiration is all around us;
- Giving feels better than getting
Last year, one of our own, brought these lessons to life by saying goodbye.
Walter D. Long, Summit’s former Mayor, and our friend, did our little foundation an enormous favor by asking folks who wanted to pay their respects to his memory, to do so by making a contribution to the (www.summitdiner.org). We exist to help New Jersey families in distress.
In the history of our financial existence, because of this very selfless final act, we had our best year ever. Because Walter was so beloved, by so many people, we were overwhelmed with generosity which only proves the point he always made:
”Summit is a little city with a huge heart.”
With this last request for a community favor, Walter made it possible for us to dramatically increase our giving to important local organizations, like the New Jersey Community Food Bank, the and the Summit Area Public Foundation.
While alive, anyone who called Walter a friend was truly blessed. Walter was the real thing. He was a package of endless energy, compassion, humor, impatience and leadership. Toward the end of his life, he never stopped teaching by example. If you ever asked him: How are you doing? Even though he was feeling awful, his cheerful answer was always the same: “Like a million.” When Hemingway defined guts as “Grace under pressure,” he was thinking about Walter.
So, as we look ahead to 2012 and beyond, we would like to share these thoughts with you and once again thank all of you who responded so generously to Walter’s last request to look after those among us in need.
Happy New Year!
— The Other Fellow First Foundation