Stand by Val and her family

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is will great sadness that we create this GoFundMe page for our dear friend and valued colleague, Valena "Val" Rutkowksi, who lost her mother over January break. Despite being back at work at Frost Café, Val is grieving and is in need of our support. 

Val has been a friend, sister and cheerleader to so many at Amherst College these past few years. If you’ve ever been to Frost Café in the mornings you’ve been lucky to meet one of Amherst’s kindest people. She remembers everyone’s name, whether they want an iced coffee, a cappuccino or a cup of tea, and always asks what’s going on in your life. She has brought kindness and friendship to so many on campus. Now it’s our turn to give back to Val.

On top of the grief of losing their mother and grandmother, Val and her family are facing funeral costs and the other unexpected legal fees that often come when we lose a loved one. At a time when their family should focus on self-care and family gatherings, we know your gift will have a significant impact. 

Donations in any denomination are helpful. Thank you for coming together with us to show care and support to our dear friend and colleague, Val her two children, Payton and Paige (pictured below) in this difficult time.

After losing her mother Val wrote the following to share the news with her loved ones and acquaintances:

Late last night our Mother lost her battle with lung cancer with bone metastases. This wasn't an easy battle for us kids, her siblings, her companion, our extended family, and all of her friends who loved and adored her just as much as we did.

However, it was our Mom's battle that was the hardest of them all. She was so strong for all of us through her illness, and fought the fight the best that she could. I can only hope that us children have been blessed with the same fight, determination, and strength as she had, because our Mom was nothing short of a warrior.

We will never know why God decided to take our Mom less than 2 years after taking our Dad, but perhaps it's because "he only takes the best". Or maybe, just maybe, we already have that inherent strength from each of our parents, the strength that we both greatly admire. And perhaps its that same strength that will get us through this most difficult time.

❤RIP Mom March 24,1954--January 8, 2018

Sherry LaClair, Bridget Mientka & Bridget Dahill
  • Kimberly Krayacich 
    • $10 
    • 53 mos
  • Natalie Landau 
    • $20 
    • 54 mos
  • Cassie Chin 
    • $20 
    • 54 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 54 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 54 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Friends of Val R. 
Amherst, MA
Valena Rutkowski