Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Michael's Comments at the MTE Education Fund Luncheon

This is the text of Michael's presentation at the 
Third Annual More Than Ever Education Fund Luncheon 
at the Orrington Hilton in Evanston, Illinois. 
The event was attend by approximately 140 people.

Good afternoon. I would like to make a brief presentation about how we came to be here today and then propose a toast.
• • •
Each of our lives has a COUNTDOWN CLOCK that we cannot see. It REMINDS us to do “work” that matters.
SEVENTY THREE years ago, I was born.
FORTY TWO years ago, I met the love of my life, my husband, Gregory Maire.
MANY years ago, as many of you may have done, Gregory and I mused about what we would do if we won the Lottery. 
We decided that we would like to be able to have enough money to do significant GOOD for others. 
That lead to a discussion of what GOOD would look like. 
We decided that helping a young person, who otherwise would be unable to get a college education was probably the best gift one could give.
SIXTEEN years ago La Casa Norte opened its doors and has done AMAZING things. 
FIFTEEN years ago Gregory was diagnosed with Dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s. We lived as well as possible. We learned that the diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence.
We renewed our love for each other saying: “I LOVE YOU MORE THAN EVER!” That comment would go on to become the name of this education fund. 
FOUR years ago, the YOUTH IN COLLEGE PROGRAM was begun. 
THREE years ago, I approached Sol to let her know that now that Gregory and I WERE OLD, we WERE able to do significant GOOD for others.
We wanted to make a bequest to La Casa Norte to help provide educational scholarships for their deserving youth.
A little less than THREE years ago, after living with Alzheimer’s for 12 years, Gregory died … and in his memory … with some of his life insurance money … we were able to begin the scholarship fund  NOW with out having to wait for my bequest. 
TWO years ago we witnessed the first ever MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND LUNCHEON presenting 3 students with scholarships.
ONE year ago at the second annual luncheon we presented 15 students with scholarships 
THIS YEAR, 25 students are receiving our support, and we have raised close to $100,000 since the inception of the fund.
You can be more involved if you are able.
Just as the GREGORY MAIRE SCHOLARSHIP FUND has been created  UNDER the umbrella, YOU or a GROUP OF YOU TOGETHER, can support one or more students, by creating and NAMING a scholarship fund in honor or in memory of a loved one, in the name of your organization, or your business.
Ask Sol or me to learn more about this possibility. • • •
I have often said that Gregory was NOT a VICTIM of Alzheimer’s, he was a HERO
These students who are part of the YOUTH IN COLLEGE PROGRAM are not VICTIMS either, they are HEROS. . .
with stories of early difficulties, YES, but more importantly with current stories of success, determination, growing self-confidence, and ambitions for a better future.
And now, please raise your glass in a toast. 
TO LA CASA NORTE for their good works 
TO A LONG LIFE for the fund 
and … TO GREGORY … who  in many ways has made this all possible.
• • •
GREGORY MAIRE was a LEADER in LIFE as well as in the field of Architecture and Interior Design.
In everything he did, he was motivated by COMPASSION FOR OTHERS... WITH THIS IN MIND, we have created the GREGORY MAIRE LEADERSHIP AWARD.

To present the second annual award is my MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND LUNCHEON co-chairperson and friend Patti Morelle. 

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