The Johnsons sitting holding a photo of their son

The Johnsons

In 2007, William Johnson's heart couldn’t keep up with the demands of his growing body and he passed away. With assistance, his parents opened the William Johnson Memorial Fund to keep his memory alive.

Growing up, William had three little mothers – his sisters. In the hospital they acted like little nurses, and at home they helped with feeding and therapy. William’s mother was scared when he started school because he would have to leave her immediate presence. But just like with his sisters, the other children loved him and couldn’t get enough of him. They would talk to him, tell secrets and make him laugh. Regardless of his handicap, the kids showed him unconditional love. His mother exclaimed, “they would help him, and honestly, I think he helped them too.”

In 2007, William’s heart couldn’t keep up with the demands of his growing body and he passed away. The kids in his class planted a tree in their schoolyard in his memory. They asked the family if they could get together and talk about William with them. It was the first day the family picked their heads up off of their chests.

The Johsnons started the Run/Walk for William to raise money for an annual scholarship that will be awarded to local high school seniors going into the field of therapy, because therapists were so instrumental in giving William a normal life. With assistance they opened the William Johnson Memorial Fund.

William has been gone for years, but the Johnsons believe he is still helping everyone by reminding them of the important things in life.

“He was quite a treasure and always will be,” said his mother. “You can never underestimate the power of the powerless.”

Related Stories

Pamela Monaco sitting with her dog
Stories November 21, 2022

Giving With Energy & Heart: Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco

It was an “a-ha” moment for Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco when she read another woman’s ...

Peter A. Dunn
Publications November 21, 2022

Point of View

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Point of View

Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons standing outside
Publications November 21, 2022

Forging Pathways for the Future: Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Donor Story

Group of teens sitting at a table
Publications November 21, 2022

Adding New Flavor to Grantmaking with Participatory Budgeting

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Granting Matters

Blogs October 29, 2022

Reflections: Creating a Legacy of Equity

Jan Lane, senior philanthropic advisor, explains the ways that leaving a legacy can help you ...

new hires CNYCF
News Releases October 27, 2022

Community Foundation Announces New Hires

Over the past several months, the Community Foundation has added three new members to its ...

Stories October 11, 2022

Women’s Fund Founders Built Legacy for Community’s Daughters and Granddaughters

The Women’s Fund now has more than $1.2 million in total assets and has awarded ...

Pamela Monaco sitting with her dog
Stories November 21, 2022

Giving With Energy & Heart: Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco

It was an “a-ha” moment for Pamela Kip Reisman Monaco when she read another woman’s ...

Peter A. Dunn
Publications November 21, 2022

Point of View

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Point of View

Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons standing outside
Publications November 21, 2022

Forging Pathways for the Future: Angela Winfield & Lance Lyons

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Donor Story

Group of teens sitting at a table
Publications November 21, 2022

Adding New Flavor to Grantmaking with Participatory Budgeting

Giving Voice Fall 2022: Granting Matters

Blogs October 29, 2022

Reflections: Creating a Legacy of Equity

Jan Lane, senior philanthropic advisor, explains the ways that leaving a legacy can help you ...

new hires CNYCF
News Releases October 27, 2022

Community Foundation Announces New Hires

Over the past several months, the Community Foundation has added three new members to its ...

Stories October 11, 2022

Women’s Fund Founders Built Legacy for Community’s Daughters and Granddaughters

The Women’s Fund now has more than $1.2 million in total assets and has awarded ...

View More