Today's post features Fran Gale, who has spent over 12 years as a board member and advocate for Easter Seals Crossroads. During her time with us, Fran has brought numerous corporate partnerships and individuals to us to further extend the reach of who we serve.
Current Career: Retired as president of Gale Force Software Corporation
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Indiana University – French and Journalism
Hometown: All over the US, England, and Germany – raised in an Air Force family (my father was in the Air Force for 27 years, serving as a fighter pilot in Korea and retiring as a base commander). Accepted a job with Eli Lilly and Company upon graduation from IU and have lived in Indianapolis ever since.
How did you become introduced to Easter Seals Crossroads? I worked with an individual who was on the board of Easter Seals Crossroads, and he invited me to a breakfast meeting to learn more about the organization (he knew that my grandfather was in administration with the Indiana School for the Blind and that I had volunteered there while I was a college student). I was later invited to consider joining the Board of Directors, and I immediately became involved in supporting the work of the organization. I have served as a volunteer, advisory board member, board member, and executive committee member since joining the organization in 2003. I have recruited other people to serve on the board, and they have all become strong ambassadors of the unbelievable work done by the Easter Seals Crossroads team.
Why do you continue to stay involved? Once I started meeting children and adults who have benefited so greatly from the services they have received from Easter Seals Crossroads, my passion for supporting this work continued to grow. It is hard to wrap your mind around all of the services offered and the people whose abilities are enhanced through receipt of those services – it’s almost overwhelming to witness the difference that Easter Seals Crossroads makes in people’s lives. One encounter in particular has stayed with me over the years: I went to the graduation day of the I Can Ride program that teaches children how to ride two-wheeled bikes. As I was leaving, a young mother approached me and asked if I had a child in the program. I told her that I did not but that I was a board member of Easter Seals Crossroads and that I wanted to attend the final training and graduation. She burst into tears, gave me a hug, and told me what a huge difference learning to ride a bike was making in the life of her seven-year-old son. He could finally join the neighborhood kids on their bikes, and his self-esteem had risen unbelievably. She wanted me to convey her thanks to others at Easter Seals Crossroads. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about this one experience, and there have been many others that continue to renew my commitment.