21 Jan Jerome Goings Letter Jan 2014
Happy 2014! I hope this finds you and your families doing well. As I was writing an update to my bio for the website I thought I should send over a note thanking you all for the impact and support you have provided me for almost 8 years now. It was very reflective and looking back on everything you’ve done really means a lot to myself and my family. I am sure the message I have below isn’t far from how the other scholarship recipients feel as well. I do apologize for the lengthiness of this email. My intentions were to keep this short and sweet. But long or short, what I said is from the heart.
The Foundation has played a very special role in my development as an adult in a number of ways. Though I am very grateful for the scholarship and financial backing that you all work so hard fundraising for, that is not why I am writing this now. One of the main reasons why I value PKYF is the people that make it. You all are very special people. You embody the characteristics and spirit that many people are lacking. And I applaud the achievements that you’ve accomplished over the years.
Evan and a few of you can testify to the fact that I was pretty shy when I first entered the program. (Seriously, I called Evan Mr. Glusman for like 6 months) And truthfully, I was a little intimidated to be in the presence of you all. I didn’t feel like I belonged. Financially and socially, many of you were in places in life my family wasn’t and it was foreign to me. You were strangers and I was skeptical to the idea that you truly cared about my well-being. In fact, I actually anticipated that the foundation would not be very involved in my future during those next four years of college, aside from the monetary component.
Boy was I wrong! Evan really pushed me out of my comfort zone and initiated much contact during my freshman year. It actually made me kick things into gear knowing that I didn’t want to disappoint. But I really saw the light my first Bike Day in 2007.
The atmosphere of the event was absolutely amazing and everyone was so welcoming and accommodating. The response I received from these one time strangers were like “Welcome to the family! We are so glad you’re here!” It really made me feel appreciated and I saw the genuine interest from you in my future and overall well-being. It was also the first time I really sat back and thought about the man who Patrick Kelley was. For all of these warm-hearted, good spirited people to be in one place, it spoke volumes on the impact he had on others. My first stories of the Legend of Patrick Kelley started that day as well. Even now, the thought of him will always bring a big smile to my face. Very resonant of the famous smiles that I’ve seen in all of Pat’s pictures. But naturally, that day showed me that I was very fortunate to be a part of a very special thing. Though I fully didn’t understand what it was at the time. That feeling of family and joy continues year after year.
And as the years grew so did my relationships with the board and your familes. Whether it was a get together dinner or Bike Day, it was never time wasted and I appreciate the fact that many of you took the time to get to know me. Below are some brief individual thank yous.
Evan, you’ve outdone your role as President of PKYF to mean so much more. You’ve become a brother to me. You’ve provided much needed guidance and mentoring support over the years and always saw me as an equal. Your words of encouragement and acceptance helped me gain a sense of comfort and confidence in myself that needed to be tapped into. I know you will always have my back and I thank you dearly for your support. It will never be forgotten or devalued.
Pops/Mike, your sincerity and generosity has been something very special to me. You value the important things life has to offer and challenge adversity with a smile. You are one-of-a-kind. The picture and fun-loving attitude of what Patrick is to me is an embodiment of your charisma. Without you and Virginia, PKYF wouldn’t be possible and I thank you both for being there for us all.
Mike, H, and Bobby, My internship at Kelley Tech was a huge stepping stone into my professional career and opened my eyes to what successful leaders are made of. It was a joy interacting with all of you on a daily basis and I was able to see the work ethic and composure needed to be a successful and diligent professional. Bobby and H, you both have also been great mentors and I respect the fact that you are some of the coolest executives and people that I’ve ever met. Thank you guys for letting me into your world. I am grateful for the relationship that grew from that summer. You all were very supportive and I have translated much of that experience in the various opportunities I have had since.
Charlie, Irene, Jeff, Jermone, Joe, Kurt, Steph, J, Cary, John, and Mike Jr, I can continue to write paragraphs about each and every one of you as well. But we can agree the email is pretty long already. With that said, the overall message I want to get across to you is “Thank You”. You all are the backbone of what this foundation means to me. Its the little things you do that sticks out. Whether its a meal together, a convo at Bike Day, or the behind the scenes work that you put into the foundation, it never goes unnoticed. Bike Day and other events are filled with the moments of you and your families with the friendly hellos and kind smiles.
Today, I carry what I felt from my experience of PKYF with me and pass it along to the people I meet, know, love, and interact with. And that is what I find so special about this Foundation. It’s about something more valuable than money or materialism (i.e. bikes). Its about acceptance, friendship, family, and leaving this place better than what it was when we got here.
As a recipient of the benefits of what this program has to offer, I just wanted you to know I am truly honored and blessed to have you in my corner. Though I do not speak to you all on a consistent basis, I just wanted to put it out there that I have much admiration and respect for everything that you have done with this program. Its amazing to see where we were 8 years ago and now. The overall generosity and acceptance I felt as part of PKYF taught me the value of Patrick’s legacy as well as the value of family, friendship, and the notion that anyone can make a difference, This is something BIG! Huge! And there are people you havenâ€™t even met yet that you will impact in ways unimaginable to you now.
Thanks for your time. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces on Bike Day this year. As you prepare for the event I am confident Patrick is looking on your achievements and work with the same smile as well.
All The Best,