Final Letter from Rob Fish – President

As I conclude my second term as the president of your family organization, The Scudder Association, I want to thank all those who have supported my efforts these past 6 years.    You all know who you are, and I do not need to read off all the names. As I now live in Florida, I must soon return to my meeting with the Superintendent of Sarasota County Schools, the Rotary Club and business leaders, as a group of us are working with the local charities.

In the past 6 years, The Scudder Association, which was founded in 1912,  has quite a list of recent accomplishments.   While I was president, we celebrated our centennial.   WOW!  What a legacy has been given to each of us.    Please review our history, and who we are, on our fabulous website – scudder.org   In addition to our website is all that feeds off of it, PayPal, submitting online membership applications, Newsletters, general news for the membership just to name a few.   We also can click on various links for greater detail or to key into our genealogy.    It is truly an amazing change, and I had nothing to do with it.    Thanks Bill and Rich Scudder.

Another huge event for us was the gift of a small house in Pacific Palisades, California by Eric Scudder, an attorney, who wanted to help us and CMC.    He gave lifetime use of the house to his one key employee.   She could have originally bought the house for about $160,000, but thankfully she didn’t.   The house sold in November of 2015 for $2,100,000.   After paying expenses I was able to open an endowment account with Schwab with the proceeds, $1,950,000.   In 2 years’ time, the account has risen half a million dollars.    I wish our other main account had done nearly so well.

In the name of The Scudder Association, I have donated thousands to CMC, and I will continue to do so with the Matching Gift Campaign.    The Scudder Association has now been given credit for the wards at the Low Cost Effective Care Unit, the dental clinics there, the Shalom Dental Clinic in the city of Vellore which generates some funding for CMC, and the Ida B. Scudder Assisted Living Facility, named for my mother’s sister.

As I said, we all have been given an enormous legacy and it is now up to each of us to continue in the spirit of our predecessors.    It is in that spirit, that I now want to recognize several of what I call the unsung heroes of the Scudder Association.    These people are the very glue of our family Association whose mission besides supporting Scudder Hospitals in India has been to provide scholarships to US students, and to provide genealogical research for members of our family.    None of these heroes have received one single dollar of compensation, nor do they want any.

First Hero is Chris Scudder.   He has been our genealogist Year after Year.   He does this all by himself.   In addition he has written many anecdotes on various Scudders dating back to the American Revolution.    You will continue to be able to view his blogs and stories on the website.    He has been partially reimbursed for some expenses,but no compensation.

Second Hero is our historian, Annmarie Bunce, who has been working with Bill Scudder, the Princeton Theological Institute,  and the Huntington Historical Society to find permanent locations for our archives.   Our archives are now out of storage units thanks to these two.   In addition, Annmarie worked tirelessly to organize our family reunions in Gettysburg, PA,  the centennial, the reunions in Salem, NH,   Falmouth,  Mass, and in Huntington, NY.   Although she is taking a break from the board, she will be organizing our next family reunion in Boston preliminary scheduled for September 12 – 14, 2018.

Third Hero is Betsy Steel, and her committee have accomplished one of the 3 basic missions of the Scudder Association, as Chair of the Educational Grant Committee.    Betsy, is the daughter of long time Finance Chairman, Bruce Flint.    Her committee designed the application for our scholarships, interviews the candidates, checks out their financials, and supervises the selection of recipients. She also follows-up on the financial administration with the recipient’s colleges and universities.    For relief, Betsy is bringing on her daughter as a new board member to help with the massive job of modernizing the Educational Grants program.

Fourth hero has been Katie Grose, who with her husband, Roger, wrote and formatted a great many of our newsletters.    In addition, she has been head of our Membership Committee, and is all set to hit the road running once our membership drive gets launched.

Our fifth hero is former president Buddy Scudder who has stepped up to head a brand new committee.    Dr. Jim Taylor and a friend of hero, Betsy Steel, will serve on this committee which will provide us much needed financial guidance that I expect the directors will follow.

Lastly, Dr. Jim Taylor, must be recognized for his unbelievable Philanthropy.    As Chair of the India Grants Committee, Jim has led by example by donating hundreds of thousands of dollars, not in his name, but in the name of The Scudder Association.   He has completely re-built the physician housing at Scudder Memorial in Ranipet, and other projects such as the emergency room, and patient rooms at Scudder Memorial Hospital.    This year, alone, he has donated a little more than $80,000.  $60,000 of which, has already been wired to SMH to build a surgical suite which will help generate funding for what used to be the “little Scudder Hospital” near Vellore.   Much like the Shalom Dental Clinic at CMC, it serves those who can pay something.

Sadly, I must report the passing of two very beloved fixtures of previous board meetings:
Reggie Scudder, the beloved wife of long time board member, Brent Scudder, passed away on August 28th,2017.
Gordon Sherman, the beloved husband of Cy Sherman, passed away on August 2nd, 2017.    Cy and Gordon were the face and voice of The Scudder      Association for many years.
Both Reggie and Gordon were interred at a joint ceremony in the Scudder Family Cemetery on Shelter Island, NY

Time for some Good News.….these items and more will be available in greater detail on our website newsletter:

1)     Using the matching gift campaign, $7,713 raised by friends and family of Leslie Cenci was doubled.    She and the campaign provided 20 complete nursing scholarships at Scudder Memorial Hospital.

2)     The Scudder Association can now accept donations from donor-advised funds.   We have an account in the name of The Scudder Association (acct# 1114804) at Fidelity Charitable.   Contact Fidelity Charitable or myself (rfish338@gmail.com)

3)      I will be leading a “Trip of a Lifetime to India” including the Taj Mahal, CMC and SMH in January of 2019 to commemorate the bicentennial of Rev John Scudder’s initial voyage.   Consult the website or me.

4)      In 1999 – 2000  the then current Scudder Association raised and donated approximately $100,000 to commemorate the centennial of CMC founded by my great aunt, Ida S Scudder, MD.    We can do it again!!!

5)      Annmarie Bunce, a hero, will be organizing our next family reunion tentatively scheduled to be held  September 12 – 14 of 2018.    Consult the website.

6)      For you good and generous Scudders, I want you to know this:  that The Scudder Association passed a detailed audit by the firm of Marks Paneth for 2016

7)      The finance committee also unanimously decided to review 2013 – 2015 (again by Marks Paneth), and we passed with flying colors.   Any and all questions raised were answered.   Good news for you donors.

TIME FOR MY APPEAL TO YOU…..  I have been trying very hard to rekindle a spirit of philanthropy among today’s members of The Scudder Association.   Remember that as recently as 1999- 2000, the members of the Scudder Association raised approximately $100,000 and donated it to CMC.

It is now 18 years later and inflation would make that a higher amount.     Therefore, I have put up $60,000 of my personal money as a start.    I will  match any gift up to $10,000 given by any Scudder Family member.   Additionally, the use of the money will be directed by the donor, as long as it is within, the missions of The Scudder Association.  $7,713 has been matched already and has provided 20 nursing scholarships.

Remember your money goes so much further and accomplishes so much in India, or to educate a US student returns many times.    As I mentioned, we have recently undergone a very strict audit not only for 2016, but reviewing 2013 – 2015 as well.    So you know that your money will be 100% protected.    Please take advantage of this…..Rich and Dianne Scudder have already donated a nursing scholarship by themselves.   Cy Sherman, living in an assisted living facility, donated $100.   These are not wealthy people.   Nor were the missionaries and teachers who gave us our endowment.    If our predecessors have done this,  I know you can do more.    Be sure to grab a deduction before the year ends.

I am counting on you to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.    One person told me a longtime ago, “Give enough money to put a smile on your own face”

Thanks again for all who supported me throughout the past 6 years,

Robert Fish,

president 2011 – 2017

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