Re: Our community loses a champion, Sept. 29.
Despite my recent retirement as manager of Sources White Rock South Surrey Food Bank, spurred on by the sudden death and great loss of Peace Arch News publisher Linda Klitch, I am compelled to reiterate appreciation for the long-term and ongoing support of this newspaper to its community food bank.
As a member of White Rock/South Surrey Community Foundation, Linda was the Christmas Fund’s compassionate and tenacious driving force in generating funds for the purchase and distribution of gift certificates to food-bank registrants during the month of December.
These coupons enabled community members living on a low income to purchase food and perhaps even a small gift for their children in celebration of the holiday season. Their gratitude for this extra support at a particularly stressful time of the year was immense.
Solid and reliable support provided by other Peace Arch News staff was continuous throughout the year – year after year. The newspaper’s editors and reporters – in particular Tracy Holmes – have ‘heartfully’ responded to various requests from Sources Food Bank to publish articles, many of which have raised awareness about the existence of poverty in our community and reflected its impact on those who struggle to make ends meet.
Through the use of press written by caring reporters, along with the images of PAN photographers, critical messages were well-conveyed about the needs of others, and the ways in which we can respond to reduce food insecurity, emphasizing the importance of nutritious food donations to the food bank and the effectiveness of monetary donations, which enable the food bank to purchase whole, fresh nutritious food – from local farmers when possible – for distribution to clients.
In addition, articles based on interviews with individuals who have relied on the food bank revealed their stories in a humane – rather than a statistical – way, reflecting personal experience in context to the multiple obstacles these individuals face, thereby furthering understanding necessary to dissolve and unravel the many assumptions, myths and misconceptions about people who use food bank services.
With its ability to reach thousands, the press is a powerful tool to inform and transform. The food bank – entirely sustained by generosity – has greatly appreciated the significant role of the press to raise awareness, maintain support and thank its generous donors.
We are deeply grateful to Linda Klitch for her effective leadership as publisher, and for her dedication and caring contributions to this community.
Many thanks to everyone at Peace Arch News for your ongoing efforts to inform and support your community.
Ruth Chitty, Surrey
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We lost Linda Klitch Sept. 26. This determined young woman succumbed to the greatest force we must all face.
I am quite sure that had she known, Linda would have met the realization with the full dignity of her elegant personality – the look, the questioning, the arguable acceptance of the inevitable – propelled by the kindness of heart and resolution of commitment for which she clearly performed and sought for this city and its people.
Linda was part of this world and that same world has suddenly grown smaller, and we are at a loss.
Mary-Wade Anderson, White Rock councillor
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I was deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of the much loved and highly respected Linda Klitch.
The community has indeed lost a champion, and we have all lost a true friend.
Pam Glass, Surrey school trustee
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It was obvious to many of us at the Peace Arch News when Linda Klitch first arrived at our office in 2000 as our new publisher that we had scored big time.
A boss whose ability to immediately put others at ease was demonstrated from the get-go, and as the years passed we grew to admire and respect the many other talents she possessed. Central to knowing Linda was observing her innate kindness. It went beyond mere thoughtfulness into the realm of genuine warmth, caring and concern for all her staff.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. With surgery looming and an uncertain diagnosis, Linda helped make my transition into the unknown easier to bear. As I recovered, she made time to visit me at home with a gift basket from our co-workers tailored just for me, encouraging me to stay positive. She included me in our local Nite of Hope 2010 breast cancer fundraiser, for which I was so grateful to be part of, a community of determined citizens working hard to beat this disease.
Linda had deep compassion for others, a bright spirit with tons of character visible to all who knew her. In many workplace relationships, sensitivity to the requirements of each department is not easily accomplished, and is often the nature of the beast in our deadline-driven business. But Linda worked very hard to make our cohesive team even more so, through her ability to bring people together.
We knew how lucky we were to have her in our lives and in our work – she made every day seem easier. Even those private lunchoom conversations she’d occasionally have with us made us feel more connected to our jobs, and each other. Linda was a gifted leader; there wasn’t much you could throw at her that she couldn’t sort out with perseverance, dignity and grace.
We were almost the same age, Linda and I, and I feel so privileged for having known her.
Leslie Hilts, Peace Arch News creative services