The Chapter - and our community - benefit from one couple’s good fortune
“My mother always said, ‘To those who are given much, much is expected,’” Susie says.
Lucky, too, to know an inspirational woman named Diane Topp Cheifetz - a childhood friend of Susie’s who introduced the Stollers to the National MS Society more than a decade ago. Since then, the Seattle couple has honored their friend with a generous annual donation at the Greater Washington Chapter’s MS Luncheon.
“People are drawn to Diane because she has not let her MS beat her down. She is so positive,” praises Susie.
Phil who became friends with Diane when he escorted her, his wife-to-be and a third gal-pal to UW Husky football games some 40 years ago - also had a personal connection to MS.
“My cousin worked at the penitentiary in Walla Walla, used up all his sick leave and finally couldn’t work because he was so ill. Nobody could figure out what was wrong,” Phil recalls. “He had MS, but he spent all his savings chasing that disease through misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. He died at 50.”
Today, the Stollers have taken Susie’s mother’s words to heart. They give back to their community through personal gifts and the Lucky 7 Foundation, which was created by ranch-owners Manson and Frances Backus and named for their seven-member family. Several of the Backus’ children and their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren now serve as Board members.
“We’ve come miles in just the last few years, the last few months,” Susie points out. “We want to be a part of finding a cure and bring comfort to those who are impacted by MS.”
When they’re not helping others, the Stollers enjoy their spectacularly landscaped home in Seattle’s Madison Park. And they’ve recently taken up a new hobby showing their two Australian terriers, Tazz and Rosie. Four-year-old Tazz recently earned honors at four Canadian dog shows, and six-month-old Rosie soon hopes to follow.
It seems that luck - and good breeding - runs in the family.