Newsletter 4


When we are asked how we are able to manage working on this Foundation, Jan, through her tears, often tells about a book of moral philosophy by T. M. Scanlon that we found among Stone's impressive collection of books in Houston.  On the very simple, beautiful cover is a still life painting by Giorgio Morandi and the title:  What We Owe to Each Other.

 

We struggle through pain-filled days as best we can:  We have passed Stone's birthday in March and Holt's comes soon in April.  The Foundation serves as one way for us, and others, to stay connected and committed to Stone and Holt.  They continue, as they always have, to inspire us all.

 

Thank you to everyone -- old friends and new friends -- who are supporting The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation in so many ways. 

 

Special thank yous to two, whose constant thinking and doing has given the Foundation more function and form than can be easily explained:  Susan Park, who serves as the Foundation's administrator, and Caroline Lacey, who continues to make so many things happen.


Before telling about several recent events, here are a few coming up:

* May 2 - Tilden Woods House Tour -- Our neighbor Marta Vogel has organized a home tour in the neighborhood where Stone and Holt grew up, to raise money for the Foundation.

 

* May 14 - Seize Life Charity Fashion Show -- Fashion With a Cause will take place at Walter Johnson High School to benefit the Foundation.  The idea was conceived and organized by a student group formed around the WJ Fashion Club.  Our partner organization will be the Muscular Dystrophy Association Camp of Chicago where Stone volunteered.  Proceeds from the night will go toward sponsoring campers and -- with the help of pastry chef Kate Sigel, another former MDA Camp volunteer -- an especially fun Giant Cupcake Day for the campers in June.


* May 15 -  All are invited to Newark, Delaware, for the 
dedication of a memorial bench in honor of Stone on the campus of The University of Delaware.  Stone's beloved history professor, Dr. Guy Alchon -- as well as several other good friends -- will speak.  Chris Wiggins will play an original song he wrote for Stone. 

 

* May 17 -  At Walter Johnson's Academic Awards Night, a Leadership Award in memory of Holt will be presented.

 

* June 4 - All are invited to Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland, for the dedication of a memorial boulder in honor of Holt.  Holt's beloved principal, Dr. Chris Garran -- as well as several faculty members and good friends -- will speak.


* July 13 - Please join us for a night of improv -- an art form that Stone and Holt especially loved.  Shawn Westfall and DC Improv have offered this event, titled especially for the Foundation, 
New & Improved Improv.  We will use the night to benefit the World Wildlife Fund.  Watch the website for ticket information and more details. 


With urging from others, we are planning a benefit music concert later in the summer, a Vampire Blood Drive to support Inova Blood Services around Halloween, and 
We Kare-eoke *Washington* 2 in December.
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We are grateful to Val Carter and 
Community Cupcakes for an extraordinary evening at Walter Johnson High School on Feb 27. Cupcake Idol was a wonderful celebration of the life of Val's amazing son, Luke Carter-Schelp.  All proceeds went to our Foundation.  Special thank yous to Nico Atencio and the WJHS Leadership Class, to the School of Rock and to Isabel Hernandez-Cata and the WJHS stage crew.  Val reports that 29 singers participated and about 1,000 cupcakes were donated.

"In total, including leadership, I would guess that around 100 people had a hand in making the evening a success,"  Val says. " That is quite a tribute to our boys."  The evening raised more than $4500.

 

We used the night to announce the Foundation's grant to the American Red Cross, mentioned in the last newsletter, earmarked for the children and young people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. We also announced two grants to Crisis Kitchen, the Eckerd College students' creative idea that raised money for Partners in Health -- which is also engaged in relief work in Haiti.

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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's first annual Holt Weeks Trailblazers Challenge Award was given to Walter Johnson High School in early March. The Foundation awarded a special Honorable Mention to Blake High School.  This award is inspiring ever-more creative high school fundraisers for LLS.

 

At their annual meeting, Rebuilding Together of Washington DC presented the first annual Green Hammer Award in memory of Stone and Holt.  St. Columba's Church received the plaque in recognition of their green initiative to install the first solar panels in Rebuilding Together's history.  The panels were put into place to lower the energy bills of an elderly homeowner who is raising a granddaughter and living on a fixed income. 


We Kare-eoke *Houston* on March 19 was a bold experiment to see if an avatar of We Kare-eoke *Washington* could be transported to other places around the country.  In the spirit of Stone and Holt, so many in Houston dressed wild, sang loud and raised money, awareness and support for our partner organization for the night:  The Beacon -- a division of Cathedral Health and Outreach Ministries -- that provides a wide range of services to thousands of homeless people.  Stone and Holt loved volunteering there.  

 

We want to thank Jennifer Condi, John Higginbotham, Sean Graham, and all of the Foundation's friends and supporters in Texas for making it such a success.  Jan and Linton could not be there, and skyped in.  Click here to see photographs and to read more, including Stone's email sent to us last May about The Beacon.  We Kare-eoke *Houston* raised $1500 and the Foundation contributed another $3000 to The Beacon.

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The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation has issued nearly $50,000 in grants to organizations and schools that were dear to the hearts of Stone and Holt.  And, as part of its two-pronged mission, it is supporting original and creative events that raise money, awareness and volunteers for worthwhile causes.


We want to thank many people who have been inspired by Stone and Holt:


Rich Preyer of North Carolina never met Stone and Holt but heard of their stories and was moved to turn his Appalachian Trail walk into a fundraiser for the Foundation.

 

Supporters of the Foundation have instructed friends and family members to donate in recognition of birthdays and half-birthdays.  The boys' beloved uncle Carl Loovis, who left us in December, asked beforehand that memorial gifts made in his name be given to Stone's and Holt's Foundation. 


Recently the boys' friend Daniel Abzug, a junior at The University of Maryland- Baltimore, asked about staging a We Kare-eoke event there.  We said yes without hesitation.  This is exactly what The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation is about. 
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Two memorials have been created by other groups to honor the lives of Stone and Holt.  Although not directly tied to the Foundation, the memorials will direct attention to it and its mission.

At the Marchutz School in Aix-en-Provence, France, the Stone and Holt Weeks Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established.  "In memory of Stone and Holt Weeks and in honor of their mother, Jan Taylor Weeks -- an artist-in-residence at the Marchutz School -- who has had a long and meaningful relationship with the Marchutz school and community..."  Thank you to Alan Roberts, John Gasparach, and the Institute for American Universities, as well as to all who are contributing, for this meaningful tribute.

Also, the Stone and Holt Weeks Fellowship was created in memory of Stone and Holt by NPR and The Washington Post.  "Designed to give a promising individual the opportunity to launch a career in journalism..."  Thank you to Margaret Low Smith, Vivian Schiller, Ellen Weiss, Dick Meyer and others at NPR and Katharine Weymouth, Marcus Brauchli, Peter Perl, Paul Farhi and Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post who are making this happen.

 

For other News & Events and past Newsletters, please visit The Foundation website.
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In closing:  A friend of Stone's, Tim Faust -- who now lives in California -- wrote to tell us that he could not be at We Kare-eoke *Houston*.  Stone was Tim's teaching assistant for some history classes at Rice, and they became friends.  Among other things, Tim wrote of his lasting impression of Stone --  how much fun Stone had with everything he did - how he loved everything that he was involved in.

 

Tim went on to say "...everyone really, genuinely was -- and is -- in love with Stone.  How couldn't we be, when the guy cared so much for the world around him?  It was reciprocal."

 

We also recently heard from Shubrick Kothe, director of Landon's tennis camp in Bethesda where Holt taught two summers during high school.  Speaking of Holt's "sense of humor and beautiful smile...", Shubrick said that he has "the most wonderful memories of a fine and charismatic young man whose popularity with both students and fellow staff members was unsurpassed.  Holt brought to my camp his enthusiasm and vigor thus raising the level of everyone around him.  I was a witness to his many kindnesses and genuine concerns for everyone he encountered, not just the best or most popular kids."

 

We wanted to end by sharing these two excerpts from recent letters that underscore why we feel so compelled to try to build this Foundation for the sake of our sons.

 

In their short time, Stone and Holt gave so much of themselves to us and to the world.

 

We feel this is what we owe to them.


Linton and Jan Taylor Weeks