It is a sad day for the foundation as I announce Michelle Mallin’s resignation to focus on her health. Unbeknownst to but a few folks, Michelle was diagnosed with a rare cancer in May 2016, the day before we headed across the country to cast the Honor Bell. Michelle has been instrumental in the success of each phase of the Honor Bell. As a critical member of a dynamic team, Michelle set the standard time and again. Her efforts have truly sent the foundation on our road to success. To say she will be missed is the understatement of all time.
From earliest days of our founding, Michelle was there. Meeting around my dining table as we developed the vision, mission, and scope of our programs. Key aspects of the meaning of the Bell such as adding military artifacts to the molten bronze were Michelle’s ideas. The arduous planning and coordination of our travel to the Bell foundry, the events associated with the casting, reveal, and dedication — each of them an unparalleled success — were Michelle’s efforts. During the many coordinations with families, funeral industry and government partners, and corporate sponsors, Michelle has been critical. She has been at the center of every aspect of the operation of the Honor Bell and our programs from the daily scheduling of honors at Fort Logan, to the logistics of three film screenings, to the planning of over 65 presentations to K-12 schools, senior centers, fraternal and veteran service organizations, community groups, and public events throughout the state. The more I list her efforts, the more I realize the impact her loss will have on the foundation. Although she will be stepping down from her day-to-day responsibilities, Michelle has been selected to be the newest member of the board of directors. I am also naming Michelle a “co-founder” of the Honor Bell Foundation. Finally, starting this year, the foundation will present an award in her honor. The “Michelle Mallin Volunteer of the Year” will be presented to that individual who has shown the greatest dedication and selflessness among all our volunteers.
Michelle, each day I go to work for this incredible nonprofit we started, I will be missing a co-worker, partner, and friend to help me. All of us at the Honor Bell Foundation wish you Godspeed as you take well deserved time off to enjoy your family and friends and keep up the fight for good health.