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Donations sought for social, racial & environmental justice

Donations sought for social, racial & environmental justice

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I want to invite you to join me in recognizing a family that participated generously in the life of St. Helena. At the same time, you will also be supporting organizations that focus on issues of social, racial and environmental justice.

Lois and Bill Swanson moved to St. Helena in 1982 and lived here until their deaths in 2014 and this year. Their children Ed, David, Kristen and Jon all spent some or a good part of their childhoods in St. Helena.

Tragically, David died at 53 last September while hiking part of the Appalachian Trail.

Bill and Lois were generous with their time and donations to better our community. Lois was one of the founders of the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation. She tutored for years in our schools and brought the work of Opportunity International to town, and was also involved with the founding of the UpValley Village, to name just a few of her commitments. Bill was trustee of the school district for years as well as a board member of VOICES. The list is longer.

In describing their son, David, I’m quoting from the family’s letter:

“He traversed Africa to improve access to education for girls and prenatal care for mothers. He traveled to Afghanistan to relieve hunger. He drove voters to the polls in North Carolina. He believed deeply in social justice, in racial equity, and in the rights of all people to have a real shot at the pursuit of happiness. David worked tirelessly, without fanfare, toward those goals.”

If you would like to honor your memories of the Swanson family or want, at this point in our country’s turmoil, to support issues of justice please visit The Friends of David Ladley Swanson ( or The David Ladley Swanson Foundation (

Loraine Stuart

St. Helena

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