Leadership Richardson: Class XXXIII’s meaningful moment

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April 30, 2018
Leadership Richardson (LR) member Alicia Marshall has been a community volunteer for many organizations since she moved to the city in 1984, including the Citizen’s Police Academy and Citizen’s Fire Academy. A staff member at Saint Barnabas Presbyterian Church, she joined LR’s Class XXXIII in the fall of 2017 to learn more about the city and participate in leadership skills training. She is a member of the class’s public safety committee. “I’ve loved every minute of it,” she says. 

The April LR focus on social services brought an unexpected and poignant surprise.

On March 3, Alicia’s daughter Amber died unexpectedly.  “Alicia’s public safety committee members adore her and wanted to do something in Amber’s memory,” said Kim Quirk, executive director of Leadership Richardson. When she was asked to suggest a beneficiary, Alicia thought of the Counseling Place, the Richardson nonprofit committed to emotional health. Amber had sought and used their services during a difficult time for her.

Knowing that the April 13 LR event was focused on social services and that Deborah Dobbs, executive director of the Counseling Place would be there, class members implemented an online pledge system, keeping it a secret from Alicia. After Dobb’s presentation, LR member Joseph Armstrong asked Alicia to come forward, surprising both women by announcing: “So far, we’ve collected $1,500 in the name of your daughter for the Counseling Place.” 

It was a poignant moment. “Neither Alicia nor Debbie knew anything about this. Making the presentation on social services day was a perfect fit. It represents the true spirit of LR,” said Quirk.

Alicia was deeply touched.  “It was overwhelming,” she said. “I had no idea they were planning to present this, or that the donation would be so substantial. I’ve known Debbie (Dobbs) for many years. They are heavily involved in victim’s assistance. They are ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ and do good work.”

Alicia had volunteered for the organization years earlier when it known as Youth and Family Services. She was familiar with just how closely their staff works with Richardson Police. When an officer contacts a citizen to notify them of the death or injury of a loved one, a counselor from the nonprofit is on hand to be advocate for family. When Alicia’s own daughter died, the Counseling Place was notified by the department. A counselor came to her house that very morning to offer help.

Nearing the end of her Leadership Richardson experience, Alicia says: “I love the people, the camaraderie, and the things we’re learning. I wasn’t aware of how many services the City of Richardson delivers. Nor did I know how involved the chamber is in managing the Leadership Richardson Program and ensuring the city is well represented. It has been a real joy. “

“We have a great city. The more people who know about it and what we have to offer, the better off our citizens will be. “

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Want to learn more about Leadership Richardson?  Join us for Leadership Richardson 101 on May 3 to get more information about LR and the upcoming application process for Class XXXIV, or visit our web page.
Contact:
Kim Quirk, Leadership Richardson
(972) 792-2809