Newsletter Spring 2024

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For those not paying attention, you should know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported the latest figures for truck crash fatalities and injuries. And in 2022, these increased yet again. Nearly 6,000 people lost their lives -- a staggering 75% increase since 2009 --  and over 160,000 were injured. (In a trucking crash, the significant size differential between enormous commercial trucks and cars determines deaths to be more likely and injuries, rarely minor.)

As the Truck Safety Coalition has said, "this cannot be accepted as the cost of doing business in America."

To that end, the Foundation continues to give to the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) and their mission to stand with victims of trucking crashes and to advocate for smarter and more effective safety policies on America's roads.

Recently, Truck Safety Coalition supported the 'DOT Victim and Survivor Advocate Act' introduced by Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN). This legislation would create a new role, "National Roadway Safety Advocate", at the Department of Transportation (DOT). This position would act as a kind of liaison between crash victims, survivors and their families and DOT officials -- providing essential victims' perspective throughout the DOT decision-making process.

We are somehow still here to attest to our additional nightmare of an experience, seeking accountability for a trucking crash while grieving for our children, the worst losses imaginable. If you are moved to help make America's roads safer for you and your loved ones, please get involved. There is so much more to be done to improve road safety in commercial trucking -- from calling for automatic emergency braking technology to opposing younger aged truck drivers and longer and heavier trucks. You can take action HERE.

Always, with love, thank you for all of your support helping to keep this Foundation going.

Jan and Linton

More Foundation News


Today The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation -- created to try to keep alive some of the good energies and good works of Holt and of Stone -- honors their devotion to the planet in various ways, including support of Environment America and Nature Forward, as well as World Wildlife Fund and other organizations, some mentioned below.

And part of their program was the presentation of The Stone and Holt Weeks Recruiting Award, which encourages recruitment of others into Environment America's Fellows Program. Thank you to Holt's dear friend David Park and Foundation Administrator Susan Park who represented The Foundation virtually, and spoke eloquently.

The Foundation awards an annual grant to Environment America to encourage recruitment of young volunteers. This year's recipient is Maggie Lu, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Maggie obviously excels in recruiting and organizing more volunteers. After her freshman year at Rutgers, Maggie was named director in the summer canvass office for Environment New Jersey, where she helped build the team of canvassers on a campaign for 100% renewable energy. Working with a group that focuses on saving bees, Maggie met with seven cities and counties about committing to "bee friendly" practices. She helped sign up more than a dozen beekeepers and small businesses to support the initiative.

And at Nature Forward -- formerly Audubon Naturalist Society -- The Foundation continues to support introducing the Natural World to young people.

Alison Pearce of Nature Forward writes that during the 2023-2024 school year Foundation grants helped 80 "energetic preschoolers" from five Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) Centers to experience nature programs at Woodend Nature Sanctuary. Alison adds, "We made 18 visits to MHP community centers and children have enjoyed 10 engaging hands-on visits to Woodend. In addition, we hosted 20 children from the Beacon House in Washington, DC for two field trips to Woodend."

** Each year The Foundation sends a grant to the Walter Johnson High School Leadership Class -- a class that meant a lot to Holt -- to underwrite projects that do good and bring the school together with the surrounding community. The Leadership Class teacher Sophie Fierst reports that the Class staged a successful blood drive in February, and a "flockings" fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Foundation also sent our annual support to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory and honor of Holt, who through the WJ Leadership Class created a longstanding fundraising tradition with LLS -- and now in honor of the Leadership Class which continues to raise funds for LLS.

To begin, we want to thank everyone for the generous end-of-year support for this Foundation.


Before Stone and Holt were killed in the summer of 2009, they were both working on the campus of Rice University in Houston -- and living near each other. Stone was finishing up his research work for Douglas Brinkley's The Wilderness Warrior -- a sweeping look at the birth of parklands and conservation in America -- and Holt, as an assistant to information technology Professor Chris Bronk, was plotting technology's strain on natural resources.

They were so excited to be working on both the past of the American environmental movement and its future. They loved being at the nexus of the historical line and environmental issues. They believed they could make a difference.

Environment America partners with PIRG environmental student advocates, working to research issues, educate decision makers and build support for solutions. Students recruited 221 community members to support the campaign and recruited 139 members for Environment Georgia, enabling them to continue protecting the Okefenokee.

Alison adds, "Your generosity has made all this good work possible, and allowed us to provide an additional 32 field trip scholarships for K-5th grade public school classrooms to visit Woodend." In addition, this summer, she says, "we have awarded 32 summer camp scholarships ... and we are providing transportation to Woodend in Nature Forward's 'Butterfly Bus'  for 14 scholarship campers from the Long Branch neighborhood in Silver Spring. Thank you for your support that helps make these programs possible."


** The 2024 recipient of The Stone and Holt Weeks Humanitarian Award -- awarded annually by Stone's fraternity Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Delaware -- is Kyle Butler. For the past three years, Kyle, who is from Montvale, New Jersey, has been involved in all of the fraternity's charity fundraisers -- car washes, bake sales, etc.  He has made the Dean's List multiple times and has received a scholarship through his employer, Wegman's. Stone's dear friend, Bobby Bartocci -- a Pi Kappa Phi alum who helps oversee the award -- writes that: "Kyle was nominated by numerous active brothers and it was a no brainer decision." The Foundation grant, which honors Kyle and is in memory of Stone and of Holt, is given to Ability Experience, the nonprofit charity run by the national chapter of Pi Kappa Phi.

** Holt's alma mater, Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland,  established The William Holt Weeks Memorial Leadership Award to be given to a graduating senior -- chosen by WJ teachers -- in memory and in honor of Holt. The award reads: "For that student who best represents the Character and Spirit of Holt Weeks -- Leader, Scholar, Athlete, Volunteer -- and shares his passions of History and Government."  The 2024 award was handed out at an assembly in late May by Holt's sweet friend Nathan Barash -- thank you Nathan.

The award went to Michelle Kim. Treasurer of the SGA and a member of the Leadership Class  and Crew Team, Michelle "can always be counted on to represent Walter Johnson High School with pride and excellence," says one teacher. Another adds that Michelle is "one of the kindest and most creative individuals that I have encountered in my professional career.  She has a warm personality and is well liked by her peers and teachers.  Her emotional maturity is evident in all she undertakes."

Michelle will attend University of Maryland at College Park in the fall.

** This year's recipient of the Stone Taylor Weeks Award for Excellence in the Study of History established at St Andrew's Episcopal School, where Stone was a 2003 high graduate -- is Emily Conway. The award ceremony took place in early June and thank you to Stone's dear friend Michael Rogan who attended and represented our family there.

Emily will attend Cornell University in the fall.

** Also in May, Holt's friend, Ben Maxwell -- who is now the Men's Varsity coach at Eckerd College -- wrote that the 2024 Holt Weeks Sportsmanship Award was presented to Christian Kearns. Ben writes, "Christian has been a team leader and captain this year. He has been someone who has grown so much during his time here at Eckerd College. He will graduate this year. We will miss him."

** Another grant was sent to Stone's dear friend, Josh Basile, who created Determined2Heal -- a nonprofit that helps people who must transition into life with paralysis. We know that Stone and Holt would be supporting Josh -- we remember Stone's concern when he learned of Josh's paralysis.  The Foundation now makes annual grants to Determined2Heal, which provides educational materials and counsel to people with spinal cord injuries, their families and friends, as well as staging rehabilitative adventures.

** Though Haiti is in tragic chaos, the nonprofit Partners in Health  -- which has been working in the country for more than 30 years -- continues taking care of patients, despite horrific violence, a dearth of supplies and exhaustion among its workers.  “All our clinics are open, even though we are experiencing major issues to move drugs and medical equipment, and our staff as well,” Dr. Wesler Lambert, executive director of Zanmi Lasante (the nonprofit healthcare provider affiliated with Partners In Health in Haiti) told Devex in a recent interview. For years, The Foundation has made grants to PIH for its courageous presence in Haiti. We did so again in 2024.


** The Foundation provides periodic grants to the Water Ministry at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC -- the church our family attended for years. The water program -- run by volunteers --makes available to displaced Washingtonians an array of free services, including showers, laundry, a tranquil social setting and a hot midday meal. The program closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has reopened. According to the website, "we have gone back to a full range of service since then. The number of guests is gradually increasing."

** The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation owes an immense debt of gratitude to its administrator Susan Park. Susan is also deeply involved in the life of The interPLAY Orchestra, a Maryland-based nonprofit musical opportunity for people with intellectual, developmental and other disabilites. Because Holt and Stone loved music so very much, The Foundation supports interPLAY through financial assistance that sponsors participants in the orchestra at Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda. The two 2024 recipients of the Foundation grant are again Charlie Mosley and Maurice Kerry.  Susan writes: "Charlie lives in Pennsylvania (now) and participates in our rehearsals and concerts via our Zoom program, and Maurice attends our in-person rehearsals and concerts at Strathmore.  In our concert on April 15th, Charlie sang a wonderful solo to Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke, and Maurice sang back-up vocals to Third World's You're Not the Only One."  Susan's daughter, Emily, has just been named Artistic Director/Principle Conductor of interPLAY and Susan's son, David, was one of Holt's dear friends.

We hope the concert video will be available to share in a forthcoming Newsletter.

Lisa Frank, Director of Environment America's Washington DC office, updated us on their recent challenges and successes, such as the seven students who spent their spring break informing and encouraging more popular support for the protection of the Okefenokee Swamp -- the largest blackwater wetland in North America and a National Natural Landmark, and a haven for fish, migratory birds and threatened and endangered species --  from the harmful effects of area mining.

In April, Environment America activists gathered in Washington DC for training and lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Nature Forward's youth education team also used Foundation funds to stage eight free nature presentations at Woodend for students with disabilities. "These special programs reached a total of 108 students," Alison says, "many of whom were able to enjoy time in the Nature Play Space after a naturalist program on the accessible trail. Our team of nature educators continues to learn from these students, their teachers and their therapists about enriching engagement for children with a range of disabilities."

** Not long after Holt and Stone were killed, we were introduced to Krishna Gurung, also a recently bereaved parent, who works with a former leper colony in Nepal. The Foundation continues to support Krishna's work as his community -- dedicated to his lost son, Kevin  -- provides jobs and necessities for needful families. His foundation, Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation, has created a school, a biodiverse farm, a health clinic, a handicrafts center, a carpenter workshop and more. Our Foundation often earmarks grants to help the children of Krishna's community outside of Kathmandu. Krishna recently wrote: "We extend our sincerest thanks to you for all your support to KRMEF, which has made us come this far... Stone and Holt are staying with us all the time.,, Without your moral,  and financial, support, all these works wouldn’t have been possible."

He adds: "Creating jobs is one of the parts of the KRMEF project that we are satisfied with.  Every person we employ.... is responsible for taking care of their families. This means that KRMEF is really supporting over 220 people each day. That’s the power of a social enterprise like this."

Stone, Jan and Holt in Houston's Sculpture Garden in 2009

Stone is rescuing a small creature in Houston's summer heat

Student PIRG's Politcal Director Dan Xie and Georgia PIRG's Caleb Gustavson

PIRG Student Leaders hold a rally a the Georgia State Capitol

in support of protecting the Okefenokee Swamp

Johanna Neumann, Senior Director for 100% Renewable Energy, helps prepare two newer state advocates, Mia McCormick, Enviroment Florida, left

& Emily Mason, Environment North Carolina, right for a first lobby day

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, right, meets with intern Taylor Brumagin, Alaska Environment State Director Dyani Chapman, and Senior Conservation Program Director. Steve Blackledge.

Photo Credit:  Athel Rogers

Lisa Frank, Director of Environment America's Washington DC Office, right,

presenting the 2024 Recruiting Award to Maggie Lu

A Nature Forward classroom visit teaching the essential role of earthworms in Nature

A Discovery Hunt Field Trip at Nature Forward's Woodend Sanctuary

Learning about Mammals on a Foundation Nature Forward Field Trip

The 2024 William Holt Weeks Leadership Award at Walter Johnson High School

was awarded to Michelle Kim.

Christian Kearns, the recipient of The Holt Weeks Sportsmanship Award for Eckerd College's

2024 Men's Varsity Tennis Team

The 2024 Stone Taylor Weeks Award for Excellence in the Study of History

at St Andrew's Episcopal School was presented to Emily Conway

Kyle Butler was chosen for The University of Delaware's 2024 Pi Kappa Phi award,

The Stone and Holt Weeks Humanitarian Award

interPLAY Orchestra Performer recipients of our Foundation's 2024 scholarships:  

Charlie Moseley, left, and Maurice Kerry, right

A recent Health Camp sponsored by Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation in Nepal

The Department of Transportation in Washington DC