The Voices for Healthy Kids family mourns the loss of an original Strategic Advisory Committee member and leader in the movement, Deb Hubsmith. We hope you will take the time to read the beautiful remembrance written by Risa Wilkerson, a PreventObesity.net Leader and Safe Routes to School National Partnership Board Chair. It’s posted on the Safe Routes to School National Partnership website but we would love to quote a portion here:
“Many know that the bicycle became Deb’s primary mode of transportation when she vowed not to replace her car after it was totaled in a crash. The bicycle is such a fitting symbol for Deb. It takes human power to move. Every inch of progress is made only by your own energy and determination. And yet the bicycle alone won’t get you there. Without others investing in the right infrastructure, teaching safe riding habits, manufacturing helmets and panniers, it wouldn’t be a viable option for daily transportation.
And that was Deb. Completely self-motivated and driven, yet with a big vision which required collaboration. That’s why she included so many others in conversation as she developed the National Partnership, launched it with a steering committee of about 20 advocates, and created an affiliate model for the organization. Deb continuously sought to connect with others who shared the value of a healthier country (or convinced them of this value) by creating environments where being active could be the norm—for getting to school, work or anywhere, as well as for recreation.”
A few weeks ago, we asked you and other PreventObesity.net Supporters to send messages celebrating 10 years of Safe Routes to School in the United States and Deb’s inspirational leadership. Responses poured in. Deb heard from longtime friends and from people who had never met her. The messages were consistent. Over and over again people thanked Deb for her work and said, “you are a hero.”
In our sorrow, we are comforted that Deb found comfort in the fact that so many of you sent a personal message of celebration and support. Her influence was great and she will be remembered after some tears with smiles and warm hearts. But most importantly, we will continue to honor her memory and legacy by continuing her work. We will bring our creative energy and talents to the task of making Safe Routes to School, and active communities for all, a success.