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Norton and Barbara Peck Family Foundation Donation

By Abby Braithwaite

Sometimes the greatest gifts we receive are the least expected. As a small,
non-profit organization, the NWDSA is always on the lookout for new and
unique sources of funding. When Advisory Board member and nightclub owner
Sherry Kucera of Tony Starlight’s Supperclub and Lounge offered to put
together a benefit last summer, we were excited and grateful. When she
and her husband Brett mentioned a James Bond theme, we knew we were
in for a rollicking good time. What took us by surprise was the amount of
support that Brett and Sherry were able to garner from their community of
musicians, vendors and customers. Musicians donated their time and talents,
vendors donated to the raffle, and customers came to the event, donated
raffle prizes and silent auction items, and more.

While the evening on a whole was fantastic, one gift deserves special recognition.
Sue Robertson and Don Peck are regular guests at the club, and
they sent Sherry a note saying they were unable to make it to the NWDSA
benefit, but would like to learn more about our organization. Their family’s
charitable foundation, the Norton and Barbara Peck Family Foundation,
would be holding a meeting in August, and wanted to consider our group as
a possible recipient of a gift. We were touched to be considered by virtual
strangers, and worked to get a packet together about our work, mentioning
in particular that we are hoping to put out a new edition of our New Parent
Guide soon.

A couple months later, we received notice through Sherry that we had been chosen as a recipient, and we agreed to meet the donors at Tony Starlight’s to receive the
check and pay our thanks. After a night of good music and a tasty meal, we met with Sue and Don and they handed us a check from their foundation for $5,000 — enough to get us well on our way to a third edition of the New Parent Guide. We had our cameras with us, but unfortunately none of the pictures we took that night came out. But suffice it to say we were all very touched by the occasion, and glad to have the opportunity to meet one another.

I had a chance to talk with Don and Sue for a bit, and I asked them what their
connection was to our community, other than a shared appreciation for Tony
Starlight’s. It turns out they have a close family friend who had a son with
Down syndrome, and they asked that the gift be noted as being in memory
of Darren Mallett of Beaverton, who sadly passed away recently at the age
of 48. Sue said Darren was the first person she had ever met who had Down
syndrome, and she enjoyed many years of friendship and camaraderie, going
on adventures on the boat owned by Darren’s parents, Don and Anona
Mallet of Beaverton. We are sorry for the Malletts’ loss, and are honored to
be the recipients of such a moving memorial. Thanks to the legacy of Darren,
we can soon share our New Parent Guide with many new parents in
the coming years.

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