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~ Phil Clarke
Russ and I met in the founding year of
Whisper nThunder back in 2010. We
worked closely on many projects,
mainly ERez, where we both shared a
particular interest, and it was obvious,
not only to myself, that he was a force
to be reckoned with and he fired our
organization with his enthusiasm,
creative thinking and devotion.
Ask me to talk about Russ Letica, in casual conversation, and I can instantly pull every adjective out of the book to paint a picture of the kindest, most generous, considerate, caring and selfless man you could ever hope to meet. I could tell you about his dedication and commitment to serving his community; his determination in defending his tribal land from corporate transgressions sending them running to the hills in the wake of his warrior spirit. I could talk for a week and still fall short of the person he is and the joy and inspiration he brought to everyone who knew him.
Russ was our anchor. We all feel his absence from our boardroom; not just professionally but personally, as we are a family; a rare and precious thing. His spirit remains with us all and his legacy to Whisper nThunder is the bedrock we stand on while we walk the road he laid ahead of us.
After a lifetime away from home I believe he returned to the place he was destined to be a true warrior for his people, and my deepest condolences are with his remaining family and community of the Madawaska, Maliseet First Nation, New Brunswick, Canada. My family will always remember the welcome, kindness and friendship on our visit.
I want to mention our ERez progam here; not only because it was Russ' passion but because it is a project where we can all see the immediate results. Every successful application receives an emergency heating allowance that makes sure they get through the worst of Winter; in many situations this literally means survival for some households. To see your donations being processed into a full tank of propane, from receipt to delivery, is truly amazing. No admin or salary out-takes; every cent will heat that family home!
As we dedicate this issue to our colleague and friend, Russ, please consider a gift, to honor his memory, to our ERez Fund and join us in keeping people warm and safe.
For my friend and brother.