Siler City, NC, August 14, 2014 – Communities in Schools of Chatham County (formerly Chatham County Together!) has established a fund to honor the late Page Vernon’s devotion to the needs of at-risk children and youth. The Page Vernon Memorial Fund will support children and youth with programming that encourages their staying in school and reducing their involvement in the juvenile justice system.
For almost ten years, until her death in 2013, Vernon served the agency in a variety of ways and with the same respect and graceful passion displayed as an attorney and district court judge for Orange and Chatham counties. She was generous with her time as a CCT! one-on-one mentor, board member and advocate, and with her financial support.
Vernon knew firsthand the difference mentoring and advocacy makes among children with challenges larger than they themselves can address. She also understood and supported community involvement in the schools, having been a founding board member of the Chatham County Education Fund, a nonprofit providing small grants to teachers in the Chatham County Schools. For these reasons, Vernon supported the evolution of CCT! into a Communities in Schools affiliate, since it could keep its experienced staff and proven programs of 25 years while incorporating more school involvement.
Her husband, Jim Vernon, said it this way. “Page’s mentoring embodied the essence of CIS’s mission: ‘to surround students with a community of support empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.’ In fact, she achieved this very goal with her mentee Yael. When interviewed, Yael said, ‘Page was like a second parent to me. She helped me with my homework, encouraged me to stay in school, and kept me motivated.’”
Vernon said further, “I remember Page caring for all children. In her professional life as lawyer, guardian ad litem and judge, she focused on child welfare in our community. In her volunteer effort as a mentor and in charitable giving she chose to support this organization, CIS Chatham County.”
The Page Vernon Memorial Fund is an ongoing tribute to a highly respected local humanitarian and an investment of hope for Chatham County’s children who need it. You may send gifts to CIS Chatham County, PO Box 903, Siler City, NC 27344 or make an online donation at www.cischatham.org.
CIS Chatham County Director Kim Caraganis said, “We will always remember and honor Page as someone who used her gifts and her personal qualities to impact the lives of young people, to change our community positively, and to make this world a better place.”
Communities In Schools of Chatham County is a United Way agency and actively promotes its annual campaign, currently underway.
To learn more about Page’s story and how you can make a contribution to the Chatham County community, please view the link below: