Like so many who have served on our boards or committees, Tom Howell, Sr., was reeled in by then CEO Erwin Abrams after meeting him at a fundraiser.
“Next thing I know, I’m selling hot dogs for Hospice at the boat show!” Howell said.
Since that fateful day in 1987, the Founder of TechUSA has graduated from hot dog handler to serving on just about every committee we could come up with – including the Foundation Board, the Inc. Board, the Caring for Life Campaign Executive Committee and a sundry of event committees, most notably the Golf Committee.
Philanthropy is a large part of his life. But it is not so much about what he gives, but more about how he can serve. “It’s more about what I can generate for the organization by being a spokesperson and ambassador. To have all that Hospice of the Chesapeake offers and to not promote it is doing a disservice to the people in this community who so desperately need it.”
Howell represented us for about a quarter century before having any first-hand experience with our care teams. A few years back, he helped a dear friend through end-of-life with us. Last year, he was in the same situation when his sister passed. Those experiences gave him even more of a sense of purpose to all of his work. He said it is his belief and understanding of the importance of our work to not only the patient, but to the caregiver, family and friends, that drives his commitment to our cause.
“It is difficult enough to go through the experience of losing someone close to you with the help of hospice,” he said. “Doing it by yourself – it’s just too hard.”
When asked if there was one achievement he was most proud to help realize, he said it was the sum of the 30 years that is most remarkable. “We’ve witnessed a lot of growth,” he said. “Even with the fear of change, we continue to mature, evolve and expand to become a beacon in our community.”