“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

Just past the turn of the century a confluence of people, two men and two women that had never before met, forged a life-chapter cemented in both my mind and heart.

Deborah was a counselor at one of our country’s strongest universities. Her office was small—tucked (as I recall) on the second floor of the old Student Union. From its friendly confines she would bolster, comfort and guide the student.

Stacy was a young, beautiful freshman. Sprite-like, insouciant and smiling, she was not yet twenty when Ohio State —that venerable institution that had theretofore educated a half dozen of her blood relatives— failed to protect her.   As Buckeyes passed the buck, she turned to Deborah.

Daniel was from, (of all places), Tennessee. A campus-safety advocate working with The Clery Center For Security On Campus, his omnipresence strengthened and fostered valor in victims.  Steadfast support from his national organization bolstered women to speak out so that others …some day… need not have to.

David was a downtown lawyer. Campus cops shrugged it off and campus brass disowned it.  Not this man.  Even as uptown administrators winked at what they termed “date rape”, even as these same suits closed eyes in fear of bad press, this county prosecutor not only got it, but embraced it.

—Separately, yet together, this impromptu quartet played their roles.  Separately but together they guided the message from our daughter’s head to our daughter’s heart:  She wasn’t alone!  Stacy, our Stacy: before the grand jury, before the college bureaucrats, on Dateline— letting America’s daughters know they too were not alone.

That was years ago—more than ten. Deborah?  David?  They’re still in central Ohio, plugging away, doing what they do best: helping others.  Dan’s moved on and now directs 32 National Campus Safety Initiative, squarely in the mix crafting legislation for campus safety. At some level, we remain in touch.

And Stacy? Our baby Stacy? Now a vibrant asset to the Chicago business community, she’s clearly so much more.

She’s a wife, and a daughter, and a sister, and a friend…and….a mother to a wonderful 2-year old who too is beautiful and sprite-like.  Her name is Lucy and she is lucky.  Because of the Deborahs and Daniels and Davids and Stacy’s of the world, you see, she’ll grow up in a much safer place.

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