This year the Reggio Run takes place on Father’s Day. We wanted to do something special to commemorate the fathers and grandfathers who are no longer with us but who were important in the lives of our staff. We are naming our participation awards after them. Their role can never be replaced, and their contributions will never be forgotten. The David Foster Award: First Child Father of Curriculum Director and Twos Teacher, Nicole Foster: Nicole has been with Abeona for 5 years. She describes her father’s role in her life as a teacher as supportive and encouraging. On days when she thought she didn’t have what it took to be what the children needed, she called him and he would reassure her that she had found her calling. He always made a point to come visit Abeona House when he came to town, and the kids loved him. Nicole fondly remembers being so proud to be his daughter every time the kids took to him. The award for first child is so fitting for David. He spent the latter part of his life as a member of the Illinois Shriners Club, transporting children and their families from all over to the Chicago Shrine Hospital. He loved this work so much, and Nicole was so proud of him for it. He really believed that all children should have a chance to “finish first.” Please join us in memorializing him and supporting this great community and school. David Foster passed away January 29, 2014. The Ira Herman Award: Top Fundraiser Father of Former Assistant Director and Teacher, Aliza Herman Plotkin: Ira Herman was the beloved father of Aliza and Daniel. Born in 1948 in Baltimore Maryland, he was passionate about many things in his life, including family and the idea that everyone deserves to be a part of and welcome into community. After graduating from University of Baltimore, he spent his life working for the federal government, which allowed him to be an active member of his synagogue and family life no matter what this included! He was always the field trip chaperone, little league coach, and anything else that allowed him to be involved with his children. The values he passed onto Aliza have been instrumental in making Abeona House the beautiful community it is. This fundraiser supports our scholarship fund, which allows us to open our community up to a greater array of people. He passed away February of 2012 from myelodysplastic syndrome. The Jim Singleton Award: First Place Teacher Grandfather of Ones Teacher, Amelia Singleton: Jim Singleton was born to Orin (“Shorty”) and Helen (“Midge”) Singleton on December 19, 1939 in Warsaw, MO. He attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he got a degree in Business Administration. He worked for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Topeka, KS, Miami, FL, Atlanta, GA, Washington D.C., and St. Louis. In St. Louis, he retired from the government and started his own real estate appraisal business. Throughout his life, he was always very involved in his local church and neighborhood associations. His devotion to his family has impacted multiple generations, and our children get to reap the benefits through his beloved granddaughter Amelia. He died on March 12, 2014. The Mr. Tom Award: Best Costume Father of Executive Director, Julie Seals: Tom Seals was born in St. Louis, MO, in 1956. A child of poverty, he fell through the cracks of the school system after suffering from a serious injury that forced him to miss an entire semester of school at age 15. He started working for his future father-in-law shortly after his recovery. Eventually he worked his way up into owning his own manufacturing company. He was a devoted father who deeply believed in his children’s education. When he was 50, his life took a different turn, and he left the manufacturing world to join his wife, Mitzi, working at the school all four of his children had attended. He handled maintenance and repairs and became a favorite figure of all of the children. At age 52, he received his GED. The best costume award is suiting for him, because the preschoolers at his school had a favorite dramatic play game: “Mr. Tom.” They loved to get out their tools and fix things at school and at home. Tom was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in July 2009. His last day of work at his school was at the end of February 2010. He died March 16, 2010. He was always so proud of Julie’s choice to work in early childhood education. The Warren Fesmire Award: First Place Parent Grandfather of Looping Room Teacher, Anna Fesmire: Warren Fesmire was the child of a teacher and principal. He himself had a long and distinguished career in the field of education, working as a teacher, principal, and eventually assistant school superintendent. He volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America, the Civil Air Patrol, served on the Pike County Airport board, and worked with Habitat for Humanity. He was the last surviving member of his Army Air Corps crew, and he flew 33 missions over Germany during World War II as a waist gunner on B-24 Liberators. His legacy as an educator can be seen for generations throughout his family. The first parent award is a natural fit, because Warren was like a parent to hundreds of children over the course of his 40-year career in education. He died April 22, 2014, at age 92, surrounded by his loved ones, many of whom are teachers.