Mr. Tom Getz - 1927 - 2012
He was by all accounts one of the most respected community leaders and to have known him, to have earned his trust and support just meant the world to me and of course to the children and families of Skip-a-Long. When I think back to the decades of his service to our community and United Way, I marvel at his genuine nature and untiring leadership, enthusiasm and spirit. He just naturally volunteered and gave of himself over his lifetime.
I was a bit intimidated to first go visit with him to seek his endorsement of our campaign to construct a new child care facility in 1989. He got right down to business on cost justification, why build new and why there, but never once waivered on the significance this service meant to the children. When Tom signed on to this Campaign, it meant we had a fighting chance to complete the project for these children and he dove in with zeal…a strong voice for our community’s children. I was in awe that this renowned businessman would take up our issue to support quality care for working parents. He pledged his time, talent and treasure and in a year we had a new 18,000 sq foot facility serving 225 children and the needed $1.1 million raised.
Having played such a critical role in the growth and development of this Agency, I was honored once again when he helped us to recognize and celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Skip-a-Long in 2010 and helped to launch our Endowment for the Future of our Children.
It has been my complete and total honor to have known Tom as I did, to have learned to always be 150% prepared, and to have been the recipient of his time and generosity with that engaging smile. If the essence of Tom Getz could be bottled and sprinkled on all our children, just think what our future would hold! Hard working, genuine, compassionate, philanthropic, humble youth for tomorrow… His legacy shall live on in the 527 children every day, every year who have the opportunity to attend those 3 Skip-a-Long Centers he helped to make happen, and in each life he will impact in the years to come because his leadership helped to shape who we have become today.
Laurel S. Walker
CEO, Skip-a-Long Child Development Services