On April 30, 2012, the Food Bank of WNY lost a great friend and supporter. The wonderful, compassionate Helen Wicher was a founder of the Food Bank and a diligent Board Member since 1981. In 1992 and 1993, she served as Board President but throughout the years was also Correspondence Secretary, Recording Secretary, on the Advisory Board and finally, an Honorary Board Member. During her association with the Food Bank, she worked on the Personnel, Nominating, By-Laws, Agency Relations and Annual Dinner Committees.
According to Lottie Moore, another Food Bank founder, “Initially, it was just this group of women who really wanted to do something to help the poor. We got together and talked about it, not really sure what the plan would be, but knowing we had to do something. When we found Dann Stevens, we knew we were on our way as he had a lot of connections. All the founders worked hard to make the Food Bank happen.”
Ralph Kushner, Former Interim Executive Director of the Food Bank, had this to say, “Helen was one of the driving forces of the Food Bank from the very beginning. No job was ever too big or too small for her. This community will miss her very much.” In 1995, Mr. Kushner presented Helen with the Food Bank’s prestigious Founders Award. And in 2010, Helen received special recognition from the Food Bank Board and staff at the annual Summer Luncheon.
Helen was also the recipient of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award which “is given to those individuals whose personal or professional philanthropy or volunteer service has impacted U.S. education and our country's youth”. Besides her unfailing dedication to the Food Bank of WNY, Helen also volunteered for Crisis Services, the West Seneca Developmental Center, the Children’s Psychiatric Center and Transitional Services.
In the words of Evelyn Bakowski, a very close friend, Helen Wicher was “totally dedicated to the Food Bank, and willing to do whatever she was asked to do. She dearly loved her friends and family and had a very special place in her heart for her granddaughters.”
According to a Food Bank employee, “They just don’t make them like her anymore. She was generous, kind, hard-working, and she baked the best baklava known to mankind!”