It is with a heavy heart that the C.A.L.M Society announces the passing of one of our "Parent of the Year" award recipients - Leah Minyon Dawes.
Leah transitioned on March 6, 2021, from a sudden illness after celebrating a birthday on February 15, 2021. She was such an incredible inspiration to anyone who met her and she loved children with all her heart.
One only had to mention young people with a need, and there you would find Leah. A mother of a teenager herself, Leah was found at dance school and volunteering for any event such as the Girl Scouts. She volunteered in her child’s school and in her community.
As if that were not enough, she also volunteered at the PECO energy Explorers program at her place of employment. A program that taught leadership skills to young children across the city of Philadelphia and beyond at no cost of them or their families.
Leah went through parent advocacy training, and at the time of her passing was a sitting school board member at Upper Darby School District , where she was loved and respected for her kindness, forthrightness, and a willingness to serve no matter what.
Even at the C.A.L.M. Society, Leah attended every event we held and always volunteered her services. She would bring baked goods and helped to serve in whatever capacity she was needed with a happy heart.
The true measure of the impact of her life became clear at the time of her passing, when people from places we have never seen or heard of before showed up to describe a time when Leah took them under her wings, made them dinner, took them to chemotherapy treatments and the list goes on.
Leah so epitomized what a true parent leader was in life, that the C.A.L.M. society has declared that our parent award moving forward be named the Leah Minion Dawes Parent Advocacy Award.
It was the most befitting way we could think of to honor someone who epitomized what parent involvement and engagement should be and is.
Rest well sister, you have done a marvelous job while here among us.
By Andrea Lawful Sanders