On this Thanksgiving and beginning of the holiday season, while our PHF family continues to mourn the loss of Donald Salley, I am reminded of all we have to be thankful for having known and worked with Donald. Donald was a part of the PHF family for more than 14 years and diligently served our organization as the Executive Assistant until his retirement this past September.
Donald is still with all of us at the Public Health Foundation. He has been a friend and colleague and leaves behind many pleasant memories. Each time I walk by Donald’s office, I still see his smile (and sometimes even a little smirk), and can picture others in his office looking for a “quick fix” of Donald comfort. When I would tell Donald what he meant to me and to our PHF family, his response simply was a humble smile and shrug. He was being Donald.
The real story about Donald at PHF is that his unassuming presence, his good humor, his dedication and commitment to what we do, and his visible pleasure in seeing us succeed, gave all of us comfort, support, and real joy in what we do. His presence also gave us strength. Even during the toughest of times, Donald could manage a smile and a laugh, giving of himself in a way that said without words, “it’ll be alright.”
Knowing how giving Donald has always been, this year our staff is proud to begin an annual tradition, the Donald Salley Day of Service, at PHF. Giving back to the community is something that Donald cared very much about, and we believe Donald would have wanted us to do as a lasting tribute in his name.
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Your comments and remembrances of Donald are welcome today and anytime.