In Your Area
Outgoing President, Phil Eades, reflects on his time as Board President.
The Indiana Chapter celebrated its five year anniversary in November, and I felt this was a great time to reflect on where we have been and where we hope to be heading in the near future.
My involvement with the ALF dates to the first meeting held in Indianapolis in April 2002 to discuss the possibility of starting a chapter in Indiana. We were officially deemed a chapter in November of 2002 and were off and running. My interest in being part of this organization was strong in the beginning and became even greater in July of 2002 when I was given new life with a successful liver transplant. This was a truly exciting time for us to be able to build a local base of support for the sole purpose of educating, bringing awareness, being an advocate and raising money for research for those with liver disease.
The ALF is non-profit and depends on fundraising to support our local office, staff, and to fund our programs. Since our humble beginnings, we have raised over $350,000 through our annual Salute to Excellence Gala and the Football Walk for Liver Wellness. These events not only raise much needed funds, but bring doctors, nurses, patients, family members, friends and corporate sponsors together for a common goal of educating the people of Indiana about liver wellness and liver disease.
Every year our events have grown, both financially and with the number of attendees. The word is getting out about who we are and what we do, but the need for continued growth is more important now than it has ever been. The core group of volunteers, including members of the board, work as diligently as possible to spread the message about the ALF, but time is a precious thing that we never seem to have enough. The passion and commitment is very evident among the volunteers that support our chapter.
Two years ago, the chapter hired a new executive director, with the intention of getting more exposure and face to face interaction to better inform the public about the ALF. Dori Sparks-Unsworth is that person and she is been a godsend for us. Dori is dynamic, personable and has the drive and passion to take this director’s position to a whole new level. Dori is fearless when it comes to planning and implementing events and programs. She is persistent and takes on projects with zeal, and accepts nothing short of complete success.
As with many organizations, there comes a time when a change in leadership is good for all involved. I feel the time is now for me to relinquish the position of Board President. An election was held recently and our current Vice-President, Darryl Warren was elected as the new President.
Darryl has served on numerous committees, attended many educational programs, done public speaking on behalf of the ALF, and has shown his leadership abilities on many occasions. I will serve as Vice-President, Steve Sherman will continue as Treasurer , and Phyllis Baker as Secretary. The chapter board and volunteers have always been supportive of me, through the ups and downs of our development as a chapter, and know this support will continue for Darryl.
I was asked to do a short article as my last duty as President, and this is as short as I could make it. I could talk all day about my five years with the ALF. It has truly been a rewarding time for me. I would like to thank my wife Betty, for her support and love during this time. Her commitment sustained me through the trials of our short chapter life.
In closing, our future is full of promise as we have the people and the passion to grow the American Liver Foundation in Indiana. Please support us in any way you can. God Bless.