With the utmost respect and admiration, I honor and recognize the passing of Carolyn Poplett. Carolyn was a community leader extraordinaire. She was driven and achieved goals with enormous grace and empathy, with a commitment and dedication to making a difference. She was an amazing role model and inspired many in our community and beyond.
I had the privilege of working with Carolyn on the board and on several campaigns for Thrive Counseling Center, then known as Family Service and Mental Health Center of Oak Park-River Forest. Carolyn understood the importance of community mental health services and brought her leadership and community activism to Thrive as a board member, chair of the Roots Capital Campaign, leader of an Endowment Campaign, all with a steady focus on leadership and volunteerism.
Carolyn was a community leader that you always knew you could count on. We strategized about fundraising in ongoing meetings, including evenings in my home, and she always had an idea on how we could turn over another or a different stone to unveil a new approach. She was an advocate and leader pursuing the vision of making our community more accepting of mental health services and of ensuring our community had the life-saving mental health services accessible to those in need.
Her gracious and engaging demeanor was beautiful, and all felt welcome and acknowledged in her presence. She had a twinkle in her eye and a gentle humor in her approach. And her approach was powerful, and her leadership helped achieve the significant fundraising goals that allow nonprofit organizations to continue to be mission-driven.
Carolyn, thank you for being you, you are in my heart, and Oak Park and River Forest are better communities from your love and dedication to making a real-life difference. As I continue to advocate for mental health awareness and services, your spirit will be with me.
Honorary board member
Thrive Counseling Center