Power Through It began as a tribute to friendship and has grown into a support network that keeps us connected to our friends, family and community. It is now home of our stories—we hope you enjoy them and share them—but more than anything, we would love to add your Power Through It journey to our collection.
“The Committee” Invites You
By Michele Cornell Parzych
After I lost Sara, I didn’t know what to do. I was lost and angry, and I needed to do something positive. I had been to a Dollars for Scholar’s event and I had been touched by all of the memorial scholarships. I called Debbie James, my friend with the hugest heart. I asked her what she thought about creating a memorial scholarship in Sara’s name. Debbie took the idea and ran with it. Without hesitation the Cicero girls (Sally Trait, Sandy Keller, Cindy Buckley and Theresa Trait) jumped on board and we became “a committee.”
We created an event and within weeks we were receiving checks from all over the country. The outpouring of love and support from the class of 1983 was overwhelming. When we started we hoped to raise enough money for one scholarship. When we realized we were going to exceed our goal we added a second scholarship in memory of the Class of 1983. We have lost so many classmates, that we wanted to honor them all. We exceeded that goal and we awarded two scholarships in Sara’s memory and two more for the Class of 1983. Less than 9 months after Sara died we were in the Cicero High School auditorium presenting scholarships to four CNS seniors. We will be presenting four more scholarships to the Class of 2015. What a special class we were the Cicero Golden Eagles of 1983, 30 years later our classmates came together across hundreds of miles to show support. We were so honored (and crazy nervous) to be on the stage.
We all thank Sara for bringing us back together. I could have never gotten through everything without the love and support of old friends. Being social and being surrounded by friends was so important to Sara. In March 2013 we all reunited for a night out at Hafner’s. We didn’t miss a beat, it had been years since we were all together and from the minute we got there all we did was laugh. Sara was truly happy. She partied like a rock star and refused to talk about her cancer. She wanted to talk about everyone else and what was going on in their lives. She once said to me, I can’t stand the treatments because they get in the way of my social life. Cancer never changed who she was. At the end of her battle, she couldn’t read her texts and I would read them to her. Then I would read to her all the messages that were being sent to me for her. She kept saying “friendships, treasure your friendships.”
The scholarship in Sara’s memory is bittersweet. But more important than the scholarship is the event. It gives us an excuse to come together and celebrate life. And Sara would love that we have fun, raise money for Cicero High School and toast to friendships.
We would like to open the website up to honor our other classmates. Throughout the year we will share with you our Sara stories and we invite you to share your stories. If you have lost a friend and would like to share a story with us please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org