Susie Friend is retiring from Hendricks County United Way on a high note, as the agency hit its $1 million goal for its annual fundraising campaign.
The community came out to the Hendricks County Senior Center on Wednesday evening to wish her well and thank her for her years of service.
“We are here to celebrate the great service of Susie Friend,” Don Peoples said. “And her service was great.”
Peoples served as the event’s emcee and introduced several speakers who have worked with Friend over the years, either when she was director of the Hendricks County office of the United Way of Central Indiana or when she was a community affairs representative for Indiana Gas.
Adriann Barger recently took over Friend’s position with the United Way. She kicked off the program by giving a little bit of her history with Friend.
“I met Susie when I was 13 years old,” Barger said. “It was in this very room when we were holding a kick-off event for YAR (Youth As Resources). She has always been so warm and inviting.
“When I came to the United Way, I knew I wanted to make a place for myself. For the past four years I've had the best teacher. I want to work from the foundation Susie has built for the Hendricks County United Way.”
Suzanne Whicker told about how she came to know Friend.
“It was several years ago,” Whicker said. “I did a color draping for this beautiful lady and taught her about the colors she should wear. We were also in the first ever — best ever — Leadership Hendricks County class together.”
Whicker recently retired as executive director of Leadership Hendricks County where she worked closely with the United Way.
“You know I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Susie when she has not been smiling,” Whicker said. “She has that great giggle and is a true friend. You're a quality lady and you raised that $1million just in time.”