“I’m not walking away:” Brenda Hayes Reflects on Nine Years as a JRF Trustee

December 18, 2017 2:26 pm Published by

“I had read about the Foundation, and I constantly saw something in the paper. One day, someone called me and asked me if I’d be interested in serving on the Board of Trustees, and I was.”

That was nine years ago. Hopewell native Brenda Hayes said yes and joined the Board of Trustees of John Randolph Foundation in 2009.



Brenda Hayes and her husband John Hayes



“[When I started], everyone on the Board and the staff was willing to take time so I could learn what the Foundation does and how they work together with the community.”

Those relationships and the knowledge about the work John Randolph Foundation does made Brenda a true advocate for the Foundation. She became an active trustee and an annual donor. She’s also a monthly supporter through the Bright Futures Club.

She says, “When you don’t just read or hear about what the Foundation is doing, but you actually know where the money is going and what’s being done to help people in the Tri-Cities area, you just feel like you can give something, and the Bright Futures Club makes it easier.”

Her husband, John Hayes, chimes in. “We both believe this is a wholesome organization, committed to helping the community and citizens that are in need. Personally, I’m a big fan of the [Foundation’s] Scholarship Program. They do a lot to help gifted students who need a hand up with their finances and college education.”

Along with the Development Committee, and attending Foundation events, Brenda has been on the Scholarship Committee for years. In her time, she’s seen the program double, and she’s continued because she wanted to see the program flourish. But the growth goes two ways. John reflects on the growth he’s seen in his wife: “Brenda is very giving, more than she’s ever been. The Foundation has enlightened her about what can be accomplished when you become a part of something that makes a difference.”

So after nearly a decade of serving her community through the John Randolph Foundation, Brenda Hayes leaves the board in January 2018.

“I knew my term would expire, but I’m not walking away from the Foundation. I’m still going to keep in touch, attend activities open to the public, and volunteer on any committees that need me. I won’t forget the Foundation. I can’t forget them. It’s such a unique group. You’ve got a small staff that does wonders for the Tri-Cities area. They make it look easy, and I know it’s not,” said Brenda.

John adds, “I support my wife and became a friend of the Foundation through her. We’ve established a lifetime of friendship with the staff. It’s highly rewarding to help out those who need medication and can’t afford it, or for those who need housing. Those are the things I’ll take with me.”

The Foundation’s staff has treasured their time with Brenda. She’s played a critical role in the Foundation’s growth and, by extension, the amazing growth evident in the Tri-Cities area including the expansion of the Scholarship Program, the birth of Susie’s Fund for Medication Assistance, and the overall improved health and promised bright futures of our community.

Lisa Sharpe, Foundation Executive Director, reflects “Brenda Hayes and her husband John have been an inspiration to me personally and professionally. Personally, their commitment to each other and to their family, community, and friends have motivated me to be a better person. Brenda’s commitment and leadership at John Randolph Foundation have never wavered. She’s a ‘details person’ and always asks the hard questions that push the Board and staff to grow as a team. Brenda will be sorely missed from the Board of Trustees but we look forward to her continued service on our Scholarship Committees and in other advisory capacities.”

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This post was written by Jennifer Brown

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