21st Silent Samaritan Luncheon Planned
Last year's 20th Silent Samaritan Luncheon attracted more attendees - more than 550 - and raised more money - nearly $90,000 - than any past luncheon. The event helped both the Silent Samaritan Fund, which provides counseling and other services to women who do not have adequate funds to cover the cost, and the Silent Samaritan Endowment, a permanent fund started in 2015 in the names of Silent Samaritan Fund founders Linda Peacock and Alta Landis. The 2016 luncheon featured local personality Kim Lemon telling how her life and the lives of her family members were impacted by her husband's diagnosis with Lewy body dementia.
The 2017 luncheon, which will be held at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster, on Monday, Nov. 27, beginning at 11 a.m., will also feature a woman with a local connection telling her own story. Jacy Good, along with her husband, Steve Johnson, will share how her life was affected by the actions of a distracted driver in May of 2008. Cathy Doremus and Cathy Gelatka are co-chairs for this year's luncheon, which is open only to women.
Good, a 2004 Warwick High School graduate, had just graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown when she and her parents were in an accident that involved a driver who was having cellphone conversation. The crash killed Good's parents and left her unconscious for several weeks. While Good made a remarkable recovery, the crash impaired her ability to use one arm and interfered with her memory.
The accident spurred Good to become a speaker for cellphone-free roads. She and Johnson share their story of recovering from tragedy in a presentation called "Overcoming the Unimaginable." Good has appeared on daytime talk shows, spoken at the 2010 Women's Conference, and was a guest of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at his "Call to End the Global Epidemic of Distracted Driving" gathering. More information about Good is available at http://www.hangupanddrive.com.
According to Lois Greene, a member of the Silent Samaritan program committee, the organization decided to reach out to Good after reading about her in the paper. Good and Johnson now live in New York state. When the accident occurred, both Good and Johnson had jobs and were looking forward to a future together. Johnson sought counseling to help him as he struggled through the month when Good was unconscious and to move forward in the aftermath of the devastating wreck.
The Silent Samaritan Fund has now raised a total of more than $1 million to aid area women, but according to organizer Ginny Klepinger, it is not easy to say exactly how many women have been helped. "It's difficult to quantify how many women have been helped because (the funds are) used in such a variety of ways to support women," she explained.
Stefanie Martin, development assistant with the Samaritan Counseling Center, said that the fund can be utilized in a variety of ways. "It provides counseling support for women who don't have insurance or until their insurance kicks in, and we also use it for some of our programs," she explained. "So if a woman would like to come to a specific program, but she can't afford it, (the fund can help)."
Women wishing to attend the luncheon are asked to make a donation of a designated amount to the fund. Readers who would like to attend may call 717-560-9969 by Wednesday, Nov. 15. More information may be found at http://scclanc.org/event/silent-samaritan-luncheon-2/.