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Family begins “Glory In Our Hearts Foundation” in memory of Glory Rufa

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MASSENA - After Glory M. Rufa’s passing in April 2011, her family wanted to make sure that all she had done for others in her life continued.

As a result, they’ve established the “Glory In Our Hearts Foundation” in her memory, and among their initiatives is to provide 10 back packs filled with school supplies to children who live in family housing at the Massena Housing Authority.

Mrs. Rufa, 52, was a tenant relations assistant for the Housing Authority prior to her death on April 10, 2011. She was also employed as a bereavement counselor for Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley.

In addition, she was director of religious education for 13 years at St. Joseph’s Church and also served as a eucharistic minister. She also served as director for children’s liturgy and was on the parish council and formation for ministry.

Mrs. Rufa received the “Spirit of the Year Award” from the Diocese of Ogdensburg, and was included in Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges at Mater Dei College from 1987-1988.

She was named Woman of the Year by the Massena Business and Professional Women Club in 1996, and received the University of Dayton Certificate in Discipleship and Moral Life in 2003, as well as the “Young Careerist of the Year” award in 1993 from the Massena Business and Professional Women’s Club.

She had left her mark on many people, according to her daughter, Athena Curley, who said they wanted to memorialize her life.

“My brothers and I got together. Since my mom died we wanted to do something to memorialize her life and the charity work that she’s done around town. We thought this might be the best way to honor and memorialize her life,” Mrs. Curley said.

Massena Housing Authority Executive Director Kathleen F. Allott said they were approached by Mrs. Rufa’s family about the back pack distribution.

Interested families are asked to submit their child’s name and age for the drawing by the 4 p.m. Aug. 14 deadline. Winners of the back packs will be determined by a raffle drawing, which will be held on Aug. 15.

“She wanted it to be for our tenants. We’re doing a raffle. We figured that was the only fair way to do it,” Mrs. Allott said.

“Depending on how many kids put their names in, we might be able to fund even more,” Mrs. Curley said.

For more information or to enter a child for the drawing, call Mary at the Massena Housing Authority, 764-1706, ext. 10.

The foundation plans to do more than distribute back packs though. It’s goal is to provide financial assistance to children and adolescents “in pursuit of educational and spiritual endeavors, raising awareness of heart disease and continuing Glory M. Rufa’s charitable work,” she said.

“We don’t have anything set in stone as far as what we’re going to do. What was important to my mom was the educational and spiritual enrichment of children, adolescents and families,” she said.

“We’re going to do a memorial scholarship for her. We want to donate $1,000 to a graduating senior who will be studying in the human service profession. Higher education was very important to her,” she said.

At the same time, they want to promote heart disease prevention and heart health.

Mrs. Curley said they’re still in the process of getting incorporated as a non-profit.

“We’re not an official entity yet. We have to come up with a mission statement. We’re learning a lot quickly,” she said.

Their goal is to roll out the foundation on Mrs. Rufa’s birthday on Aug. 21.

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