Bob Alfandre with Dionne Warwick in 1988 (Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle)
I stopped by GLAA's post office box today to check our mail for the first time since the holidays, in advance of our January 13 monthly meeting. In it I found a moving surprise: a $500 check for GLAA from the Robert N. Alfandre Foundation. In the accompanying letter, dated December 23, the foundation's administrative director, Nicole Alfandre Halbreiner, wrote:
Enclosed please find a donation from the Robert N. Alfandre Foundation. Mr. Alfandre was a supporter of GLAA for many years. Sadly, he passed away in June of this year. We will be continuing his support in his memory.
A longtime supporter, indeed. I met Bob more than three decades ago, shortly after I joined GLAA. His generosity was matched by his graciousness. He always seemed to be in good cheer, and it was infectious. We noted his passing last June here at GLAA Forum. His funeral at All Souls Episcopal Church was something of a reunion for longtime community members and supporters. It was such an event, a mayoral candidate was handing out flyers outside afterwards. The reminiscences and spirit among his friends in the church that day made Bob and his positive energy feel very much present.
Thanks so much to Ms. Halbreiner (who is one of Bob's daughters) and the Foundation for their generous support. Already this year we have discussed legislation with D.C. Council members (including three new members), and talked over congressional matters with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. We are also starting to plan for our 44th anniversary awards reception in late April, and are finalizing our candidate questionnaire and policy brief in anticipation of our ratings process for the special election to fill Council vacancies in Wards 4 and 8 on April 28.
GLAA is all-volunteer and gets a lot of work donated, but we do have expenses, including advertising and website maintenance. The Robert N. Alfandre Foundation's generous donation helps start our year on a promising footing. We are humbled and gratified by this show of confidence, and will do our best to continue earning it.