by Tom Finan, Executive Director, Construction Forum STL
I'm writing this because of something important that I’m working on with my 12-year-old daughter, Rachel Finan. She asked me if we could work on this together again this year.
Last year, with the help of many of you, Rachel collected the most money for heart disease research out of 600 kids at Nipher Middle School in Kirkwood.
But our effort wasn’t about being first: it was about bringing change.
It's because Rachel, who will be 13 in May, never met my Dad, her grandad. Neither did Rachel’s stepsister Lily, my 35-year-old daughter.
My Dad, Thomas J. Finan, Jr. (founder of STL Construction News & Review) died at the age of 51, before either Rachel or Lily was born. He had a heart attack on July 23, 1976. He lost his own father, Thomas J. Finan, Sr., at 57. I was five when my grandfather died.
Despite all the research that has been done, and all the advances that have been made, four decades later heart disease is still the leading cause of death in this country (614,348 people in 2014 according to the Center for Disease Control).
My Dad believed in the power of working together for positive change. That’s where the idea for STL Construction News and Review came from. The vision behind Construction Forum STL was his vision for a better St. Louis.
While I know Dad would have been glad to see what we’ve done, I’m sad that he missed it, and all the birthdays, holidays, weddings, etc. over the years.
If you believe that together we can bring about change in the fight against heart disease… if you lost someone you’d like to remember, please click on Rachel’s American Heart Association page and help. The Heart Association has a very high ranking for putting contributions to work. Here’s the link to Rachel’s page.