by Chip Roach, Institute Supporter and Loyalty Society Member

We have been visitors to The Wetlands Institute (TWI) building and donors for decades. It is TWI’s stewardship of the tidal marsh and the architectural beauty of the headquarters building that were the main motivators of our giving.

Then, onto the scene came twin boys, named Justin and Garrett Roach – our grandsons – who were intrigued with learning more about the bay. They began to spend summers near us in Stone Harbor and were amazingly curious. As their involvement deepened and they attended the evening children’s programs, our grandsons got to touch some critters brought by visiting teachers, and we became hooked.

Enter one of the board members, Lois Hamilton, who occasionally introduced the speakers for the evening family night events and was always a champion of TWI. She called and asked us to sponsor the evening program since the existing long-term sponsor had canceled without much notice.

Bless board members who are not afraid to ask for help… it is a rare attribute and Lois is always there. Next, Lois called to ask for help with nominating a future board member, not my wife and me, but our daughter-in-law, Cindy Roach, and the mother of our twin grandsons.

Cindy’s involvement drew us ever deeper, especially as one of her efforts had been the search committee who had discovered a new leader for the Institute, Lenore Tedesco… a strong leader. We were drawn into Lenore’s strategy of making “no small plans” for TWI’s future. We have been intrigued by watching a sleepy nonprofit start to thrive in the community, plus set and accomplish many new goals.

We have joined with our son, Tim, and Cindy along with their sons to become dedicated supporters. Three generations of our family are committed to this valuable organization and its mission to promote appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of wetlands and coastal ecosystems through their programs in research, conservation, and education.

The Roach Family on a Horseshoe Crab survey