Russ Williams has been a member of the Boone County Family Resources Board of Directors for more than a dozen years. His service with the Elks Lodge 594 and support of the Elks Mobile Dental Unit for individuals with disabilities led him to become involved with BCFR. He wanted the Elks to do something special for the individuals and families supported by BCFR and helped initiate an annual picnic sponsored by the Elks. Each year he coordinated the volunteer efforts of his fellow Elks to grill the burgers and hot dogs and serve up all the fixings to around 500 persons.
Russ enjoyed serving as the emcee during the picnic and also the agency Holiday Party – acknowledging his fellow Board members and thanking the volunteers and staff for their work. Wearing his Santa hat and spreading holiday joy throughout the event, he so enjoyed making the announcement, “Do you hear those bells? Why, it’s Santa Claus and his elves!” and watching the excitement in all the children’s faces.
At both of these events, Russ took the time and enjoyed the opportunity to visit and joke with persons supported by BCFR – making all his time and efforts in agency Board meetings more meaningful, and reminding him of the reason he wanted to continue serving on the Board.
Russ was proud of the agency and his role in continuing our mission. Through his influence, the Board of Directors began recognizing employees for their years of service at monthly board meetings. He was there when we dedicated the BCFR Jack Dylan Kindling Family Commons playground and spoke on behalf of the Board of Directors. He was the driving force behind encouraging the Board of Directors to regularly review our agency policies to make sure we were operating as efficiently and effectively as we could.
Russ, and his steady support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will be greatly missed among our staff, Board, volunteers and the people we serve. While he has left a significant empty spot in the heart of Boone County Family Resources, we realize he gave so much of himself to others as well. His compassion and dedication will be greatly missed by his family, the Elks and our community.