As we prepare for next week's 14th Annual Educational Tour of Alaska for Grantmakers, we remember the special connection between Ted Stevens and this annual event: in its earliest years, the invitation to attend was sent by him from his office. This poem, written by Diane Kaplan, honors the life and accomplishments of Senator Ted Stevens.


Participants from the 2006 Educational Tour of Alaska for Grantmakers: bottom row l-r: Joan Gagliardi (Charlotte Martin Foundation, Seattle); Senator Ted Stevens; Jonathan Stevens (Bertelsmann Foundation, DC); Steve Gunderson (Council on Foundations, DC); top row l-r: Ed Rasmuson (Rasmuson Foundation); Alison Bernstein (Ford Foundation, New York City); Gara LaMarche (Atlantic Philanthropies, New York City); Michael Balaoing (Entertainment Industry Foundation, Los Angeles); Alicia Westmoreland (New York City); Gabriella Morris (Prudential Foundation, New Jersey); Diane Kaplan (Rasmuson Foundation); Norman Volk (John Hartford Foundation, New York)

Ted, you made Alaska proud

Never rattled, never cowed

You gave your life to make us great

To give us one terrific state

The neediest, you’d not ignore

You’d find new ways to help the poor

Shelters for the most abused

Treatment for the ones who’ve used

Water, sewer, power too

Helping all, not just a few

You used the greatest common sense

To give us all a strong defense

You did what all Alaskans wish

By making sure there’s lots of fish

Education, health care too

Wouldn’t be much without you

Housing for our senior folk

Help from Eek to Kake to Tok

Public radio and art

You did it all with lots of heart

You’ve left Alaska well-endowed

Ted, you made Alaska proud