History Highlights of the Montgomery County Stroke Association, Inc.
In 1980, co-founders Fred and Norma Esch were visiting relatives in Arizona, where they attended a stroke club meeting for the first time. Norma, a stroke survivor, saw the need for a stroke club here in Montgomery County, Maryland, where no such entity existed at that time. Urged on by Norma, Fred contacted local hospitals and other agencies to try to establish a stroke club here.
Organizational planning meetings were held in 1980 and early 1981, led by Peter Anderson of the American Heart Association's Montgomery County Division, Maryland Affiliate, which sponsored the Stroke Club for its first five years. Participants in those early planning meetings included: Fred and Norma Esch; Jack Krochmal (stroke survivor); Billie Wilson (Montgomery County Department of Recreation, Seniors Division); Barbara Dahlman (Director of the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center); representatives from the Jewish Community Center (JCC), Treatment & Learning Centers (TLC), and Holy Cross Hospital (HCH); and rehabilitation specialists such as Janet M. Gritz (SLP), Barbara Lambert (PT), and Grace Straw (OT).
The first official Stroke Club meeting took place in July 1981 at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville, Maryland. By August 1981, the meeting site was shifted to the Forest Glen Senior Center (later re-named in honor of Maryland Senator Margaret Schweinhaut) in Silver Spring, Maryland. Ever since then, the Schweinhaut Senior Center has graciously provided a "home" for the original Montgomery County Stroke Club (MCSC) and later for the Silver Spring Chapter of the re-named "Montgomery County Stroke Association, Inc." (MCSA).
The first Stroke Club officers were selected in December 1981 and took office in January 1982 as an important step toward self-governance by the stroke survivors themselves. This first Executive Board included President David Kimelman, 1st Vice President Jack Krochmal, 2nd Vice President Leonore Miller, Treasurer Morris Gordon, Secretary Norma Esch (aided by Fred Esch), and eight other Board members.
In 1982 the "Montgomery County Stroke Club" (MCSC) name was approved. In 1983 the MCSC became incorporated in Maryland and was granted 501 (c) (3) status by the federal government (IRS) as a tax-exempt, non-profit, charitable organization.
In order to help meet the needs of residents living in other areas of Montgomery County, Maryland, the Upper County branch of the MCSC was established in 1997, the Leisure World branch was established in 2001, and the Bethesda Chapter was established in 2007. Our free newsletter, the Communique', is distributed to over 600 recipients each month. Our helpline and website are available 24/7.
In 2003, the organization was renamed the "Montgomery County Stroke Association, Inc." (MCSA) and its by-laws were revised to reflect its broadened scope and vision. The MCSA currently has four chapters: SILVER SPRING, UPPER COUNTY, LEISURE WORLD, and BETHESDA. Our motto is: "You are not alone."
MCSA has never charged membership dues or mailing list fees. Our Board of Directors and Chapter Chairpersons are volunteers who serve without pay. In order to keep operating costs low, MCSA does not rent office space and has no salaried employees.
Contributions are welcomed from individuals, families, and corporations in the form of cash donations and in-kind services. Financial support has come from private donations and corporate sponsorships; fund-raising events such as the Booz-Allen "Birdies for Charity," Olney Theatre presentations, and Macy's "Shop for a Cause"; and ongoing annual funding from charities such as the Community Health Charities, the United Way (National Capital Area and Combined Federal Campaigns), and America's Charities. In the past, MCSA has also received grant from the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the United Way, the Maryland Anti-Trust Division, and other grant providers. We welcome the opportunity to apply for grants to help fund our programs.
MCSA greatly appreciates the invaluable assistance that our members, leaders, donors, supporters, and professional consultants have generously provided over the years. Without their dedication and support, the MCSA would not exist. Rooms for MCSA Board meetings, chapter meetings, and some special events have been graciously provided without charge by the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, Shady Grove Adventist Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Leisure World of Maryland, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, and Suburan Hospital (in Bethesda, MD). Technical support has been provided by the American Heart Association (Montgomery County Chapter), the American Stroke Association (National Capital Area Stroke Council), and the Montgomery County Recreation Department's Therapeutic Recreation and Senior Center Programs. Rehabilitation consultants Grace Straw (Occupational Therapist, Retired), Heidi Kempner (Speech-Language Pathologist, deceased), and Janet Gritz (Speech-Language Pathologist), as well as Social Workers (including Marylin Schaengold, Carole Mittler, and Susan Montgomery) also have provided their professional expertise and assistance over the years.
For its commendable accomplishments on behalf of stroke survivors, family members, and caregivers, MCSA received a "Distinguished Service Award" from the American Stroke Association (ASA) in 1999 and an "Outstanding Achievement Award" from the National Stroke Association (NSA) for the year 2000-2001.
The ongoing mission of the Montgomery County Stroke Association is to provide and promote programs and services featuring stroke education, professional and peer support, rehabilitation, recreation, and socialization for stroke survivors and their family members and other caregivers living in or near Montgomery County, Maryland; and to increase stroke awareness in the community. Membership in MCSA has always been free and is open to all who support our mission.
To find out more about today's MCSA, visit the MCSA Overview page.
Presidents' Hall of Fame
Cal Horelick, July 2011 - March 21, 2013
Rachel Brown, July 2010 - June 2011
Irene Spector, January - June 2010
Shirley Radack, Acting President - December 2008
Paul Grayson, Acting President - November 2008
*Irv Lipskind, Acting President - October 2008
William Gulban, January - September 2008
Susan Emery, July 2005 - December 2007
Paul Grayson, July 2003 - June 2005
Shirley Radack, July 2001 - June 2003
*Irving I. Lipskind, July 2000 - June 2001
* David Kimelman, Acting President, January 2000-June 2000
Francis T. Ventre, July 1997 - December 1999
Patrick F. Waters, 1995 - 1997
*Irving I. Lipskind, 1993-1995
* David Kimelman, 1992 -1993
* Charles (Chuck) Gonder, 1990-1992
* Martha ("Sudy") Granum, 1987-1990
* Jack Krochmal, 1985-1987
* David Kimelman, 1982 -1985
* = Deceased