When Keith Miller’s son, Steven, died of cancer at the age of 41, he looked for a way to honor his memory and give back to their community.
A graduate of Panama Central School, Steven attended Jamestown Community College and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
According to Keith, not long before Steven was diagnosed with cancer, he moved back to the area and began volunteering. Steven enjoyed his volunteer work, giving his time to those in need at the former WCA Hospital until he was too sick to do so.
In 2009, about a year after Steven’s death, Keith met with his family’s attorney, Bruce Scolton, and members of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to discuss the possibility of creating a fund that would continue to support their community, in Steven’s memory.
“It was really important to me, and my family, that the money we sacrificed and saved for would have continued use by local organizations to benefit the community,” Keith said.
For 10 years, The Steven K. Miller Memorial Fund has annually awarded funding to St. Susan Center to support its mission of providing food, fellowship, dignity and respect to all who comes through the doors.
“We recognize that we wouldn’t be able to carry out our mission the way we have for 35 years without the tremendous generosity of our community,” said Bonny Scott-Sleight, St. Susan Center executive director.
In recent years, funding has helped purchase food and beverages, and kitchen equipment to support their guests.
“By providing meals, companionship and fellowship to our community members in need it is an opportunity to spread kindness and love to others,” Scott-Sleight said. “We are grateful to those who donate by allowing us to feel the joy that comes from helping others.”