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Sunlight streamed through the curtains at the Foley home, casting a soft glow on the kitchen table and spotlighting dozens of family photos scattered loosely.

The sound of laughter resonated, echoing the joyous memories Anne Foley recounted as she lifted each photo. The air was filled with a sense of unity and purpose, mirroring the collective spirit that defines the Foley family's decades-long journey with The Kennedy Collective.

Anne traced the roots of her family's involvement back to 1975, when her sister, Susan St. Onge, who was born with disabilities, became a part of The Kennedy Collective family.


Roots of Resilience: The Journey Begins

Anne's father, Robert St. Onge, served in the military, and the family moved numerous times before Anne's birth. The St. Onges consistently sought programs for her sister Susan, creating a resilience that would last a lifetime. Eventually settling in Connecticut, Lois St. Onge, Anne and Susan’s mother, befriended trailblazer Evelyn Kennedy and found a home where Susan could thrive within The Kennedy Collective.

Their involvement with The Kennedy Collective extended beyond familial ties. Anne’s parents, Lois and Robert, were true pillars of support. With Susan as their inspiration, Lois created and ran a religious education program for children with special needs. Both she and Robert served as board members at The Kennedy Collective. The family helped organize fashion shows and run thrift shops, which became vibrant expressions of the Foleys' dedication to Susan and the collective impact.


Susan's involvement with The Kennedy Collective opened up a world of opportunities.

Susan developed deep friendships and led an independent life. "She didn’t ask for anything. She was very content in life and faced more challenges than any of us did, but she was happy with the simple things," said Anne.

Her joy was palpable, and she made friends effortlessly. By participating in bowling outings and becoming a champion Special Olympian, Susan was an integral and vibrant member of The Kennedy Collective. In turn, the collective's impact became an integral part of the Foley family's life, as they shared in Susan's happiness and cherished her newfound independence.

Susan passed away in 2015, leaving a void in the hearts of the Foley family and The Kennedy Collective community. Her acceptance of everyone, her contentment with simple pleasures, and her ability to bring joy to all who knew her have left an enduring legacy. Her impact extended far beyond her immediate family, creating a legacy of love and compassion in the community.


The Foley Family's Enduring Commitment 

After Susan's passing, the Foley family remained focused on their commitment to The Kennedy Collective, embracing it as a vital organization and an integral part of their extended family and the community. Anne and her husband, Pete Foley, went on to serve on The Kennedy Collective Board of Directors in recent years.

As the Foley family's involvement continued to script new chapters, the legacy extended to younger generations. Anne and Pete’s children actively participate, ensuring that the flame, ignited by Susan, Lois, and Robert, continues to illuminate the path of compassion and collective support both within the family and the community at large. According to Anne, people want to make a difference. "They just need to be asked."


Anne and the Foley family have embraced the mission of The Kennedy Collective, elevating it to new heights. While they understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a family member like Susan, they believe that everyone possesses the potential to help others lead fulfilling lives. Through Susan's story, the Foley family has inspired a community to embrace inclusivity, support, and the belief in everyone's potential. The legacy of Susan St. Onge lives on, reminding us of the impact we all can make.


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