Summer’s Almost Over…What’s On Your Bucket List?

As we celebrate July 4th, I am reminded of a great story my good friend Mary Ann Wasil once shared. Every July 4th morning, as Mary and her five siblings were preparing for the Barnum Festival 4th of July Great Street Parade, her mother would look across the pre-parade breakfast table and say: “Well, it’s the 4th of July; summer’s over. You’ll be back to school before you know it.”

Mary Ann and her siblings grew to appreciate this annual tradition – matter of fact, as adults, Mary Ann and her sister would race to be the first to call the other to deliver the “traditional edict of gloom.” But the words were not meant to be gloomy at all – they were meant to be inspiring: “Time flies. It waits for no one. Don’t let even a moment pass by you without cherishing it, without tasting it, drinking it all in, every last drop … as slowly as possible,” wrote Mary Ann in a Gen W blog post last year.

Those words are even more poignant this year. On April 15, Mary Ann passed away after a 12-year battle with breast cancer. The world lost an amazing woman, a true fighter, a true inspiration and to many of us, a true friend. Mary Ann was a favorite of the Generation W stage and her message from 2014 was simple: “I choose joy every day in all I do.” Mary Ann’s “choose joy” attitude was part of the inspiration for our Gen W Summer Bucket List. Our list was created to give you an excuse to press the pause button on summer – to, as Mary Ann states, “cherish it, drink it all in, every last drop … as slowly as possible.” Click here to see our Summer Bucket List and how members of our Gen W community are planning to cross those items off by the end of August.

Mary Ann’s positive outlook and courageous spirit will always inspire me. I carry her message of JOY to fortify my spirit. It also lives in the Get In Touch Foundation, a non-profit she founded to focus on promoting breast health education and advocacy to benefit girls and women across the globe. Her daughter, Betsy Nilan, recently stepped into her mother’s shoes to become president of the foundation and continue its mission to “change the world one girl at a time!” We love you Betsy and Mary and encourage all in a tribute to Mary Ann and her bucket list to keep our girls healthy by donating to their foundation at

Here’s to spending days “drinking it all in” and enjoying those small moments of everyday life. LIVE JOYFULLY~!!





by Donna Orender