Friends Filson.jpg

Major Rush Filson, United States Marine Corps on duty in Afghanistan

Thank You to the Many Who Supported the Foundation's First Project

Our deep and abiding gratitude to all who supported the Foundation's first significant project: the collection and transport of school supplies and the construction of a school.

In August 2004, Marine Major Rush Filson, a graduate of Bates College and childhood friend of Pete's who was doing a voluntary tour of duty in Afghanistan, wrote his parents about a school in Afghanistan in need of supplies. The Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation initiated a One Day's Pay project to respond to the need. Since then over five hundred people have contributed to the project which has grown to include building a school to house the supplies. We are grateful to all those who have helped with this project.

David B. Edwards, Professor of Anthropology and Afghanistan Scholar, Williams College, Williamstown, MA

Pictured in December in Afghanistan at the site of the school, Dave's interest in Aghanistan began in fourth grade when his grandmother sent him a postcard from Kabul. Since then he has authored two books on the subject: Heroes of the Age and Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad and has just completed a documentary of Kabul, "Kabul Transit." Dave selected the building site for the school and transferred responsibility for the construction phase to his close friend and former research assistant Shahmahmood Miakhel. In addition to teaching, writing and filming, Dave developed the Williams College Afghan Media Center Project. Throughout the 2004/2005 academic year, he supported local educators as they grappled with the challenge of designing a curriculum on Afghanistan with few readily available resources in keeping with Massachusetts standards.

Shahmahmood Miakhel, Governance Advisor, United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA}, Former Deputy Interior Minster, Afghanistan

Although Shamahmood did not have the time, he supervised all aspects of the school construction without compensation both as a courtesy to David Edwards and a gift to the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation. His efforts are driven by an abiding commitment to the restoration of educational opportunities for all Afghan children. The foundation is deeply indebted to Shamahmood and will continue to rely on his counsel to direct future involvement in his country.

Kathleen Rafiq, Humanitarian, Formerly Television Producer/Director

Kathleen is directly involved in a number of humanitarian projects in Afghanistan where she currently resides. In addition she designed and initiated educational programs for schools on the west coast of this country. During the winter of 2005 Kathleen donated her time to conduct a number of presentations for schools in western Massachusetts.

Debbie Rosselli, Former Service Learning Coordinator, North Adams Public Schools, North Adams, MA

Debbie was the driving force behind the Afghanistan projects in the North Adams Public Schools and surrounding areas. She serves as the Director of Service Learning in North Adams, MA.

Lt. Col. Steven Grant, Air National Guard

On 9/11/2004 Steve volunteered to deliver school supplies to Afghanistan for distribution by Rush and others in the military. He has since transported materials collected from Boy and Cub Scouts, 4-H Clubs, churches and schools in North Adams, Adams, Cheshire and Williamstown, MA. In his free time, Steve serves on the school board of his community and is father to seven.

Rick Derby, Documentary Film Artist, Producer/Director of Axis of Good: a story from 9/11

Axis of Good, a documentary by Shiprock Productions, captures the emotions, intimate moments and struggle of the Goodrich family as they grapple with the loss of their son and their overwhelming efforts to keep his memory alive.

Rick is documenting the complex project of educating children here while building a school in Afghanistan. He has generously donated his time and talent in addition to marshalling others willing to do the same. In so doing he has become a large part of the project.

Ian LaPort, Asst. Coordinator of Network Services, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA

Ian is responsible for choosing and developing the underlying structure of the web site and resolving all problems that occur. As is true of all others involved in this effort, Ian is donating his time and talents. His wife, Allison Rennell, is an English teacher at Drury High School in North Adams, MA, and had a major hand in developing the Service Learning projects there in 2005.

Angela Webster, Trust Officer, Peoples United Bank, Bennington, VT

We are indebted to him and the Peoples United Bank for working so flexibly and diligently to help us achieve our goals.

Janet McKenzie, Artist

Janet is a family friend and well-known Vermont artist whose work provided great solace to the Goodrich family following Peter's death.

Relections about the painting
Homage to 9/11 from the artist's perspective

"The idea of painting something – anything – in response to September 11 seemed wrong. What possible good could come of painting anything at all about this event, which has wounded us all and certainly some of us more than others? I rationalized that anything I said through my art would wind up trivial by way of comparison. So I made the decision not to create a painting about 9/11. Yet, art is a strange partner to live with – expressions refuse to be denied. These ideas move forward into form and they go out and into the world, regardless of a mind trying to stop them.

HOMAGE TO 9/11 was born this way - spontaneously. Two figures emerged on canvas, upright and leaning into one another. Eyes closed. I knew who they were half way through doing it, the Twin Towers. The women stand together against the color of ash. They mourn but they stand. They are mothers without their children. They simply hold flowers, which are the purest of offerings reflecting hope and symbolic of the masses of flowers left throughout New York. The women reflect our mutual suffering and profound loss, personally and as beings on this earth together. But this work is not only a recognition of mutual suffering. I feel this work is also about our inherent human goodness, strength and purity as people together – because they stand united and in a similar spiritual place."

Peter Elvin, Rector, St. John's Church, Williamstown, MA

Peter was co-sponsor of the One Day's Project that began this effort. His church was a collection point for school supplies on 9/11/2004 and its members generously contributed funds. With Scott Barton, Peter conducted Peter Goodrich's Vermont memorial service. As a long time family friend, Peter also participated in Peter Goodrich's Boston memorial service.

Scott Barton, Minister, First Congregational Church, Old Bennington, VT

Scott co-sponsored the One Day's Project on 9/11/2004. His church served as a collection point and its members gave generously to the project.