Marilyn Cunin was much more than an Our Lady of the Wayside parent, Board Member and Starlight Guardian Humanitarian Award recipient … she was a Wayside champion. This gentle force of nature taught us that true strength manifests itself through gracefulness. She crushed obstacles with creativity, put tough decisions into action while brokering peace, and built an army of advocates through friendship. Beautifully wise and warm, Marilyn had a way of wrapping each interaction in a light that sent the other person off into the world to do more of the same. With that kind of person in Wayside’s corner, you can understand how distressing it was for me to learn that she’d been called home.
I’m not going to tell you the funeral wasn’t a struggle. Marilyn was one of those people that made the world spin a little better just by being in it, and her death would create an immense void. The funeral was ending, I was still at a loss, and then I turned to the back page of the program, where I saw her message for us, “Happiness is a choice!”. It was a mantra with a message that hit the mark perfectly. Simply put: Wayside supports people in their choice to be happy. Creating safe and welcoming homes, providing access to the community, and planning days filled with fun and fulfilling activities … each program and every service has been created to give children and adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to be happy. Wrapped in the light of this lasting interaction with Marilyn, I invite you to stand with Wayside in our commitment to choosing happiness with the individuals we serve.
And thank you, Marilyn for everything you did – and continue to do -- for Our Lady of the Wayside.
President & CEO
Our Lady of the Wayside