TP Forever is a 100% volunteer organization. All donations and event proceeds go to the TP Forever Healing Project, the TP Forever Scholarship Fund at Oregon State University and the Oregon Humane Society. To date, a total of $153,000 has been donated to the TP Forever Scholarship Fund and $134,615 to the Oregon Humane Society in Tony's name.
The Healing Project
Shortly after Tony passed away our family was fortunate enough to spend a weekend at the Oregon Coast staying at the beach house of a family friend. It was time together as a family away from the stresses of our daily lives. It was a much needed break and gave us an opportunity to relax in a peaceful setting, process our loss, reflect on our lives, comfort each other and reminisce about our favorite memories of Tony. This trip was extremely helpful for us as we began our journey through the grieving process.
Upside down rainbow (smiling rainbow) viewed during family trip to the beach less than two weeks after Tony passed away.
Our experience is the inspiration behind the Healing Project. We would like to provide a similar opportunity to other individuals or families trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. We are still in the process of developing the program, but here are some details regarding the Healing Project.
We will build or purchase our own property, ideally multiple units in a peaceful setting in Central Oregon
Guests will complete an online application and will be selected based on need
Guests will be awarded 2-3 nights lodging at the property
Those with financial restrictions may be given additional assistance (e.g., transportation, groceries, etc.)
Activities will be recommended for guests to help them with their grief, but not required
Eligibility requirements and other program details (e.g., potential for counselors or pets to be available for therapy) are still to be determined
While we have personally experienced the impact this program could have, we wanted to make sure it would be helpful for others as well. To do so we partnered with the Dougy Center for grieving children and families, who helped us collect applications and ultimately select two families for our pilot program. We sponsored a separate retreat for two families at a peaceful property along Whychus Creek in Sisters, Oregon. We were thrilled to be able to help these families and were very pleased with the impact the trips had on each family.
Melissa Paquette's husband Jared passed away in a car accident in May 2015 at 37 years old. Jared is survived by his wife Melissa and their three daughters Eden (age 14), Meadow (age 7) and Ivy (age 5).
From Melissa's application: He was a proud and devoted dad who loved bragging on his girls, me included. He was my best friend.
My family has struggled a lot since Jared's death. When I come home from work I am physically and mentally exhausted. I am doing my best, but it is hard to really be present with my children and share good moments with them. Even something like eating out at McDonalds is a luxury for us right now, unfortunately. Eden and Meadow are old enough to notice the difference between what life used to be like for us and what it is like now. And I don't feel like we can really focus on actually grieving when we are constantly in survival mode. I would love a weekend away where we could just be together. I nearly cried thinking how good that would feel.
Feedback from Melissa regarding their trip: I was truly able to disconnect from my day to day worries and just enjoy family time and being together.
I have been feeling a lot lighter inside (if that makes sense) and more optimistic. It was nice to make some good memories together. I am left with the feeling that there is more good stuff out there for us. This was such a nice thing, and it was so long since anything nice had happened to our family... it absolutely helped with the grieving process.
I think a lot of families that lose a partner can relate to the financial strain that the loss causes on top of everything else. We could never have done something so nice if it weren't for you. I really, really want to say thank you again. I felt revitalized by this, and the feeling has remained.
Jamie Valdez's daughter Adreanna passed away from alcohol poisoning in May 2015 at 17 years old. Adreanna is survived by her parents Jamie and Odilon, sisters Maribel (age 20), Leticia (age 15), Yasmin (age 9) and her brother Mauricio (age 13).
From Jamie's application: My family has had a difficult past few years since Adreanna's passing. We would love to spend some quality family time together as we have each been a huge support for each other through our grieving.
Feedback from Jamie regarding their trip: The best part about the weekend was the camp fire, where we all told stories about Adreanna and remembered the good times. We laughed, cried, toasted to her life and celebrated her. It was especially nice to be able to focus on our grief as a family, which isn't something we have had a chance to do yet.
This is an ambitious project, but one that we know can make a real difference. We look forward to launching the Healing Project in the near future and we are very grateful for your support in making this become a reality.
TP Forever Scholarship Fund
Tony graduated from Oregon State University in 2007 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Despite having three brothers who graduated from the University of Oregon, Tony remained a proud alumnus of Oregon State. Although Oregon has had the upper hand in terms of football in recent years, Tony made sure his brothers were reminded that his Beavers won the 2002 Civil War by a score of 45-24 (yes, even reminding us today through family photos).
Tony loved to travel to support his Beavers and went on a number of different trips to support both the baseball and football programs. Since graduating in 2007, Tony's travels to support Oregon State took him to the Bay Area, Las Vegas, Dallas, El Paso, Omaha and even Wisconsin.
As a result of Tony's passion for Oregon State, the TP Forever foundation has established the TP Forever Scholarship Fund at Oregon State University. The foundation originally pledged a minimum of $25,000 to Oregon State University over a period of 5 years, which would then allow the scholarship to be given on an annual basis in perpetuity. However, due to the tremendous support of TP Forever and several generous private donors, we raised $27,000 for the scholarship fund in just over one year. As a result, the first ever TP Forever Scholarship was awarded to Bryan Layton for the 2013-2014 academic year. Bryan gave a short speech at TP Forever II, which can be viewed below:
Two individual scholarships are now being awarded on an annual basis. We plan to continue to grow the scholarship fund into the future so that more and more students can benefit from the scholarship and are given a chance to learn about Tony.
TP Forever Scholarship Recipients
2016 scholarship recipient (current)
Scholarship to be awarded to full-time students studying Electrical Engineering
Scholarship to be awarded to students with a demonstrated financial need and a minimum GPA of 3.0
Students will continue to receive the scholarship each year (for up to 5 years), given they continue to meet the qualification criteria established (full time student studying Electrical Engineering, demonstrated financial need, minimum GPA of 3.0)
Preference will be given to students who have participated in and/or have an interest in athletics
To date, a total of $153,000 has been donated to the TP Forever Scholarship Fund at Oregon State University in Tony's honor.
Oregon Humane Society
Tony had an incredible heart and a prime example of this was his love for animals, particularly dogs. Shortly after college, Tony became a regular volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society. Through his volunteer work, Tony would often provide foster care for dogs that needed a home, but for one reason or another, were not quite ready to be adopted. One such dog that was lucky enough to have Tony care for him was a 4-month old, abused pit bull named Midnight. What was supposed to be just a few weeks of foster care eventually turned into a 15-month journey that transformed a lonely, abused puppy into a loving, playful, well-trained pet. Despite the foster care timeline continually being extended month by month and the continued sacrifices Tony had to make in order to take care of Midnight, he never complained even once. In fact, he was happy to rearrange his schedule and happy to provide the attention, love and support that this poor animal needed so much.
In 2011, Tony was recognized for his incredible volunteer work with Midnight by being awarded the prestigious Diamond Collar Hero Award from the Oregon Humane Society:
Tony later adopted a puppy of his own named Clyde. He loved his dog Clyde so much and had such a great sense of humor that he wrote his dog a postcard from Hawaii shortly before he passed away.
In true Tony fashion, the postcard was addressed directly to "Clyde Platt".
Tony and Clyde, December 2010.
Tony Platt Foster Care Award
Given Tony's commitment to animals and his incredible volunteer work with Midnight, OHS has established the Tony Platt Foster Care Award. Each year, this award will recognize an OHS volunteer foster parent who embodies the dedication and commitment that Tony demonstrated. The inaugural award winner was presented to Danni McLaughlin in March 2016.
Tony's brother Chris Platt with the inaugural winner of the Tony Platt Foster Care Award, Danni McLaughlin and Executive Director of the Oregon Humane Society, Sharon Harmon.
Tony's mom Kathy Schilling with the 2017 Tony Platt Foster Care Award recipient, Mary Doak and Sharon Harmon.
OHS Memorial Stone
The Oregon Humane Society has honored Tony by placing a memorial stone along their volunteer dog walking path. This path is used extensively each day by volunteers, who will hopefully find some inspiration each time they walk by the stone. Tony will forever be a part of our lives, but now he will also forever be a part of the Oregon Humane Society.
Memorial stone along volunteer dog walking path at OHS.
Given Tony's passion for animals, the TP Forever foundation has committed to help raise funds for the Oregon Humane Society in Tony's honor.
To date, a total of $134,615 has been donated to the Oregon Humane Society in Tony's name.