Dear friends and family,
One month has passed since the beautiful memorial service, and we would like, once again, to thank everyone for their outpouring of support following the unexpected and tragic deaths of our parents, Mike & Ginny. We know several of you have already made gifts in their memory, and many others have asked us for suggestions of organizations or programs to support that would carry on their legacy. Since their passing, several wonderful local groups have established memorial funds in Mike and Ginny’s names. We are especially grateful to those who have established these funds as a way to keep our parents’ community work alive for the future at a time when we’ve just been too busy and emotionally overwhelmed to even think of taking the lead on an ‘in memory’ fund.
Although it is certainly not comprehensive, we believe this list reflects the range and depth of our parents’ community work and advocacy, and we will be making donations from the estate to each of these programs and organizations.
With no risk of exaggeration, this has been a very difficult month for us. But we’re both looking forward to a fresh new year, spent in community with friends, family – and all the wonderful memories we have of our mom and dad.
Have a Happy New Year, and thank you for your continued support.
– Eli and Leah
Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church
The Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church has established the Spevak Memorial Fund to honor Mike and Ginny Spevak, whose lives and work embodied the values of peace, justice, and faith. The fund will be a living memorial both providing immediate compassion and advocating for long-term justice. Financial gifts to the fund will be used for new or expanded outreach programs that continue the Spevaks’ legacy of concern for others and reflect the Spevaks’ wide- ranging social concerns, from nurturing youth, environmental stewardship and sustainable living, to criminal justice and re-entry issues. The Spevak Memorial Fund will be administered by the Mission Committee in consultation with the Spevak family. Checks should be made payable to the “Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church” and include “Spevak Memorial Fund” on the memo line, and sent to:
Spevak Memorial Fund
The Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church
One Chevy Chase Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20015
For questions about the Fund or about the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, please contact the Rev. Steve Robertson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202- 363- 2202.
Our parents were both active members of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Their mission is to educate and mobilize citizens of this region in a way that fosters a rapid societal switch to clean energy and energy-efficient products, thus joining similar efforts worldwide to halt the dangerous trend of global warming. They work both locally and nationally on green jobs and greenhouse gas reduction programs. They also provide basic education about solar homes and alternative fuels, which has included open house tours of the home our parents built and lived in. There are plenty of ways to support CCAN’s work as a volunteer or with a donation to the Spevak Memorial Fund CCAN has set up in their memory..
Both Mike and Ginny were also active in the Politics and Prose Climate Action Project, an informal but effective local advocacy group that helped to craft and get adopted the ambitious recent DC Energy Bill. The Climate Action Project is interested in working with the DC Energy Office or local non-profit to establish an annual “Mike and Virginia Spevak Memorial Award” to recognize individuals and groups in the DC area who have been effective agents of change in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through improvements in energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy or recycling. Contact John Macgregor at email@example.com to get involved or to help with this effort.
In the fall of 2005 Ginny and her good quilting friend, Prue Hoppin, founded a program called Quilting for Good with support from quilting volunteers who gather at G-Street Fabrics each month to assemble quilts from donated fabrics. They selected Mary’s Center, a local health center that serves a predominantly Hispanic population, as the organization to which they would donate the quilts. Ginny knew the Center because of the excellent care it had provided women she knew.
Quilting for Good is now treated as one of G-Street’s “classes” and each month some 10-15 folks gather to help put the quilts together. The donated quilts are used for the three educational baby showers the Center hosts each year for expectant mothers – events during which staff members share information about what the women should expect at the hospital, the paperwork they should have with them, health and safety tips to consider with a newborn, etc. Approximately 60 women attend each event – and each one is given cosmetics, infant supplies, and a chance to select her own quilt. They always try to have at least 80 quilts available for each shower so that even the last person to arrive still has a number of quilts from which to choose. It is heartwarming to see the women pore over the quilts while they make their selections.
As of November, 622 quilts have been given to the Center for participants in the three educational baby showers the Center hosts each year for expectant mothers. There are many hands at work now to ensure that there will be at least 80 to deliver for the next shower in January and for the Quilting for Good program to continue into the future. For more information or to volunteer with Quilting for Good, contact Prue Hoppin at firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate to Mary’s Center, visit http://www.Maryscenter.org or contact Jessica Arendal, Development Associate, 202-420-7052.
Green Acres School
We both attended Green Acres School and our mother taught science there for nearly 20 years. In her memory, the school has established a memorial fund to celebrate Ginny as both an educator and a dedicated community volunteer. The funds will be used for the following purposes:
Staff to Coordinate Community Service – Green Acres students will continue making soup for a community kitchen and we hope to increase staff support for students in selecting meaningful ways to contribute to the community.
Natural Area Playground – This project captured Ginny’s imagination as she worked with her son (Eli when he was ~15 years old) to develop a Middle School play area in a natural setting. The hope is to add a new cargo net to this playground.
Science Program New Learning Garden – The school will allocate a garden space so that students can learn about gardening and use vegetables to make soup for a soup kitchen.
If you would like to contribute towards one of the initiatives above, designated gifts may be made online at http://www.greenacres.org or by check payable to Green Acres School. For additional information, contact Joan Adler, Development Director, 301-468-8102.
Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA)
Mike was a cycling enthusiast. He was a tireless advocate for bicyclist rights and to make the city a safer place to get around with pedal power. While a specific fund for him has not been established, Mike was a member of WABA, and anyone who would like to contribute to bike advocacy in Mike’s name can make a donation at http://www.waba.org/donate/.