Day 80: Stephanie Curton Kenley

Dear Stephanie,

When it’s time to assemble a team, you’re always looking for people with diverse qualities and individual talents. The pieces and parts should come together to complete the whole.

Stephanie and husband, David.

When it came time to hire a new development officer for a growing and diverse team eighteen years ago, you entered the picture at a moment when we needed something fresh. Some energy. Some spunk, if you don’t mind my saying. Every team needs a bright, young, spunky player who will challenge the old ways of thinking. I knew it would be you before the applications were ever mailed – before you even graduated, honestly.

Life moves so quickly.

A few days ago, Dana mentioned from across the room that you were off on a 40th birthday celebration vacation. It bewildered me.

“She’s not 40. She’s not even 30. You’re way off on that one,” I said.

“Well, that’s what it says,” she said.

“Something’s wrong. There’s no way that’s right.”

Sure enough, you’re celebrating the Big Four O today. I’m so happy for all the ways you’re still using your gifts and talents.

Stephanie and sons.

You have the family you always dreamed about and I know the responsibility you take most seriously is wife and mom. You’ve always known that family is the core of everything real. I suspect you learned that as a child.

You’re now a successful medical professional – a labor and delivery nurse ensuring the safety and care for new moms and babies as God creates new families at Arkansas Children’s Hospital every day. It’s hard to imagine you fulfilling a calling that fits you better.

I’m glad we were on the same team for a time. We all learned some lessons in fundraising we can apply to whatever it is we pursue, wherever we might pursue it.

It’s not even my job to be proud of you. I’m proud of you, nonetheless. I hope that’s okay.

Happy, birthday, kiddo. You’ll always be that spunky kid to me.

Your friend,

Steve Watkins



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