Patty Donovan-Duff, Director of the Bereavement Center of Westchester, was named first recipient of the Community Fund Award on May 26th, 2015 at the Bronxville Field Club. The award was given in honor of her 20 year career leading the Bereavement Center and its Tree House Programs, which provides Westchester residents of all ages the opportunity to grieve the loss of a loved one in a supportive and understanding environment.
Donovan-Duff began her career as a nurse in 1971 and soon expanded into the field of Hospice and Bereavement. When Jansen Memorial Hospice launched the Bereavement Center in 1995 with assistance from the Junior League of Bronxville, Donovan-Duff was recruited as director. She went on to develop the Tree House, a cornerstone of the Bereavement Center that is specifically designed to support children whose parent or sibling has died and their surviving parent or guardians.
The Bereavement Center of Westchester has been a Community Fund Member Agency since 1998 and has received grants that directly support and enable the running of the Bronxville Tree House program.
In response to her Community Fund award, Donovan-Duff said, “I am deeply honored to be given this award from the Community Fund. The relationship between the Bereavement Center and CF has been very special and important these past 17 years. Your steadfast and loyal support of the work we do, especially with young families at The Tree House, has been greatly appreciated. Especially in our early years, being part of the many wonderful programs you fund helped us to spread the word about the center. The Community Fund’s educational seminars for non- profit directors were also incredibly helpful. It allowed many of us to connect and share and support each other as well. On behalf of the thousands of people we have served over the years, thank you, thank you. We are all fortunate to have the Community Fund in our community!”
The Community Fund award was developed to recognize excellence in the execution of Member Agency’s mission. The person or agency receiving the award should exhibit an altruistic passion for achieving the Member Agency’s goals. They should be dedicated, exhibit operational astuteness, be flexible to changing circumstances and make a significant contribution to the agency and community. The Community Fund feels the most important factor in the success of our non-profit agencies is the strength of that agency’s employees or volunteers. This award is intended to honor that person or agency that meets these lofty standards and to hold them up as an example for others to follow.
In her speech announcing Donovan-Duff as the first Community Fund award recipient, Melinda Burge, Director of the Community Fund commented, “ In her tenure at the Bereavement Center Patty has provided countless hours of guidance and support, not only to the 1000+ families she has counseled, but also to her staff and board. When I reached out to those she has worked with over the years about, the theme that kept coming up the most was Patty’s genuine kindness and her ability to make sense of the most difficult time in one’s life.”
Download the press release here.