Rose’s Legacy Lives On

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 Healthcare 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 established in memory of Rose.

During the 2012 Adopt-A-School program, Rose Kennedy 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 the two low-income schools wear hand-me-downs and sometimes do not have warm clothes during the winter months.

When she learned of their plight, she and her husband took action and bought shoes for the class they adopted. The endowment fund keeps the effort running each year.

Teresa Pierce, a manager in Health Information Management, led the effort to provide 42 pairs of shoes. “This is the best part of December for me every year.”

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