My name is Rich Palermo, and I am honored and humbled to be elected the first Log A Load For Kids Foundation Chairman of the Board. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest gratitude to our past Chairwoman, Lisa Medici of Medici Logging, from Westwood, California, for her success in leading the Log A Load For Kids Advisory Group to its newly gained Foundation status.
Currently I am the Area Chairman of the Log A Load For Kids program working alongside the Unviersitiy of Virginia Children's Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have been a Procurement Forester with Greif Packaging LLC for the past 28 years. The support and encouragement from Greif, along with the loggers, foresters, sawmills, paper mills, equipment dealers, and all the other industry personnel that I've been associated with in my years with Log A Load are the reason why I continue to be so positive about what we all do for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
The Log A Load For Kids Foundation will be among those attending the Children's Miracle Network Celebration, to meet selected ambassadors from each of the United States and across Canada. The Celebration recognizes these remarkable children, who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges, for their courage and tenacity. Attending the CMN Hospitals Celebration has strengthened my commitment to making the Foundation, a continued success. I encourage you, at least once, to attend this Celebration of life, healing, hope, and success....the miracles you all work so hard to help provide.
I'd like to share a personal highlight of my own, from a CMN Telethon at the Unviersity of Virginia Children's Hospital. At that event, ten of the kids from the patient rooms came down to the lobby and were photographed on the autographed Bruce Springsteen motorcycle. Each one of these pictures was sent to Bruce Springsteen, along with a thank you note.
One of those ten children, was a boy, just eleven years old, who was an avid fan of Bruce's. At that time, he was waiting for a heart transplant. As it happened, he lost his battle, and his life a few weeks later. When his Mom called me with the sad news -- a phone call I'll never forget -- she also let me know that it was such a thrill for her child to know that his picture had been sent to Bruce. When I informed Bruce's manager of this sad event, he immediately sent the family tickets and backstage passes to a local Bruce Springsteen show, with the hope of Bruce's performing their child's favorite tune: "Born In the USA."
This child, along with millions of others, did not have time on his side. I want to encourage you to continue to do what you do so well to help grow our efforts, so that our most precious resource, our children, have the opportunity to be treated and cured and ultimately survive.
Log A Load For Kids Foundation