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Employee’s Legacy Lives On In Shoe Program

Posted: January 5, 2019

For the second year in a row NorthBay elves delivered happy feet to two local schools in December through a program that honors the memory of Rose F. Kennedy, a NorthBay finance manager who lost her battle with cancer in February 2013.  

Kindergartners at Fairview and Padan elementary schools received the gifts, thanks to an endowment fund in memory of Rose.

Teresa Pierce, a manager in Health Information Management, led the effort to provide 42 pairs of shoes this year. After reading the students the story of “Rose the Elf,” she handed out the gift bags and smiled as the youngers opened them, screaming with delight.

“This is the best part of December for me every year,” said Teresa.

Her helper this year, Penn Yang, Health Information Management Lead, agreed. “It gives you such a warm, nice feeling,” she said.

Rose’s husband Michael Shafer was able to attend both school presentations. “I am reminded every year of how much Rose enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces when they opened their presents,” he said. “I hope this program lasts a long, long time.”

During the 2012 Adopt-A-School program, Rose learned that many kindergartners wore shoes that were either too big or too small, and they often asked to take their shoes off during class because their feet hurt. Many students in these low income schools wear hand-me-down shoes and struggle to have warm clothes during the winter months. When Rose learned of their plight, she and Michael took action and bought shoes for the class they adopted. The endowment fund keeps the effort running each year.