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The Tom Sustic Fund was established to support a bone marrow transplant for Tom Sustic, mostly generated through a series of benefit events in 1999 and 2000 featuring Greg Brown, Jesse Winchester, Beausoleil, Savoy Doucet Cajun Band, La Bottine Souriante, Mick Moloney, John Roberts & Tony Barrand, the Horseflies, Mick Moloney & Jimmy Keane, Lui Collins and many others. After several bone marrow drives and monitoring and searching on registries in North America and Europe, an ideal donor was not located. After his death in 2001, the funds were then re-purposed to support families with children with life-threatening conditions. The intent is to sustain the fund at a base amount, and to add to it incrementally with proceeds from events, grants, and other revenue, maintaining an endowment that is self-sustaining. The fund is replenished with individual contributions and events sponsored by Young Tradition Vermont throughout the year, including sponsors and participants at an annual Mardi Gras benefit at Hotel Vermont.
All funding is made through the recommendations of the Pediatric MSWs at the UVM Medical Center and Dartmouth Hitchcock on behalf of families who’s children are being treated for life threatening conditions and/or are in hospice care. Other possible funding options are exhausted prior to recommending support from the Fund. Once a request is made, the process is managed by the Vermont Family Network in Williston.
The fund was originally established at Parent to Parent to Vermont, and is now handled at the Vermont Family Network in Williston, which manages the fund investments and distribution as part of its system of supports for families. The fund is advised by a committee that meets annually, and consists of pediatric staff at the Vermont Children’s Hospital, staff from the Vermont Family Network, and Tom’s parents. The fund has distributed about $100,000 to families over the years.
Committee members include Julia Conner (Vermont Children’s Hospital), Dr. Alan Homans (Vermont Children’s Hospital), Dr. Brad Friesen (Timber Lane Pediatrics), Pam McCarthy (Vermont Family Network), and Tom’s parents Mark Sustic and Deborah Travis.
We would like to thank you for thinking of our family and for your prayers. It was appreciated very much. The check was put to use to fix our van…… (we) are so glad we can all be together as it is a blessing….. we missed it greatly!