Meet Bill Harrell, or as he is affectionately known to many…“Poppa Frog.” Bill proudly graduated from TCU in 1968 and has been a dedicated and generous member of our Fort Worth community ever since. After serving as the president of the Frog Club for two years, serving as the president of TCU’s National Alumni Association, and serving on their Board of Trustees as well, he was invited by a colleague to serve on the board at The WARM Place. Bill did not have any previous connection to The WARM Place but felt that “God was opening a very important door.” It was on The WARM Place board of directors that he found a diverse and dedicated group of people committed to the critical mission of supporting grieving children and their families.
Bill is such a firm believer in the mission that he has made over 200 donations to The WARM Place! In addition, he is one of our donors in our “Remember Me Giving Program,” a group of loyal supporters who make ongoing monthly contributions to The WARM Place to help fund the ongoing budget needs of the organization. Bill has made regular monthly donations for over 16 years! Bill also sponsors a table at our annual fundraising gala, A Cool Night, so he can invite friends to the event and encourage their involvement. He even picks up “Wish List” items at Costco to help supply The WARM Place’s many needs.
When asked what he would tell someone who is considering getting involved at The WARM Place, he said “I would turn that around. YOU should ask to be a part of an organization that eases a child’s grief with the loss of a loved one. Being able to communicate in a setting with their peers facilitates a safe environment to help them cope with that loss. Is there any better reason to say yes?”
Bill has a more personal reason to appreciate the mission of The WARM Place—his wife died of breast cancer six years ago. However, he feels blessed to have met Cynthia, whom he now proudly calls his wife of three years. Combined, they have four children and six grandchildren.
Bill continues to experience highs and lows in his own personal life. Almost two years ago, he had major spinal reconstructive surgery, which left him as a paraplegic. However, with great persistence and rigid physical therapy, he is mobile by use of a walker. And with his determination and positive outlook on life, he is hopeful to return to serving on The WARM Place board of directors sometime soon.
You may be wondering how he got his unique nickname of “Poppa Frog.” Bill said when he became a first-time grandfather, he and his family were discussing what his granddaughter would call him. Instead of the traditional “granddad” or “gramps,” they landed on “Poppa Frog” since he was a proud TCU alumnus, and it has stuck ever since!
Poppa Frog—The WARM Place could not ask for a more dedicated advocate and supporter of our mission. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! May you be an inspiration to many!