Creating something positive out of a tragedy, and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come, is just what Sandy Fox chose to do in memory of her daughter Marcy Finerman Lewis, who was killed in a car accident 16 years ago. The Marcy Finerman Lewis Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation awards an annual scholarship to deserving students at Arizona state universities. Sandy designated the scholarship to the areas of communications and theater, such as summer theater programs and Jewish-related theater activities in the Phoenix areaall areas that were important to Marcy. "We feel we will be carrying out her wishes if she were still alive," said Fox.
"Marcy's dad, Jess Finerman, and I chose this way to remember Marcy by making this gift to the foundation in our lifetime so we could see where and to whom the money is going," said Fox.
Sandy was able to do just that this summer when she had the opportunity to meet Karin Finkelstein, a 20-year-old communications major at the University of Arizona, and the first recipient of the Marcy Finerman Lewis Endowment Fund. "Karin is an extremely bright, charming girl who I know will go far in her career," said Fox. "I'm very pleased with the recipient, her character and her goals for herself."
Mr. Finerman, unfortunately, died a few months ago and was not able to meet the first recipient. According to Fox, he wanted to be involved in the process and she is sad that he will not be able to participate.
"That's why I feel it is so important to start an endowment fund while you are alive and healthy so that you will be able to be part of this process, rather than leaving money after your passing," said Fox. "It's a good feeling to know I will, hopefully, be a part of this and be able to see who benefits for many years to come."
Fox has just published her second book on the topic of grief, which includes coping and informational skills to help all bereaved parents, family and friends deal with their loss. Titled "Creating a New Normal After the Death of a Child", she dedicates the book to her daughter.
"Life's twists and turns can lead you down a far different path than you ever imagined," she says. "It did for me, but starting this endowment fund during my lifetime was the right thing to do. It will live on in perpetuity and I, too, will be able to see the good it does in the Jewish community. There is no better feeling than that!"
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