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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 musician friends including Greg Brown, Jesse Winchester, Beausoleil, Savoy Doucet Cajun Band, La Bottine Souriante, Mick Moloney & Jimmy Keane, John Roberts and Tony Barrand, the Horseflies, 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. Following Tom’s death in 2001, the funds were re-purposed to support families with children with life-altering 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, while maintaining it as an endowment that is self-sustaining.
The fund was first established at Parent to Parent to Vermont, and is now coordinated through the Vermont Family Network in Williston, which manages the investments for the fund and distribution as part of it’s system of supports for families. The fund is advised by a committee that meets annually, and consists of representatives from UVM Medical Cetner, Vermont Family Network, Young Tradition Vermont, and Tom’s parents. The fund has distributed grants to families since 2002.
Committee members currently include Julia Conner (UVM Medical Center), Joanne Weschler (Vermont Family Network), Dr. Alan Homans (UVM Medical Center), Dr. Brad Friesen (Timber Lane Pediatrics), Pam McCarthy (Vermont Family Network), Selma Zjakic (UVM Medical Center), and Tom’s parents Mark Sustic and Deborah Travis.