Sally & Geoff Davis
"We asked ourselves, how could we impact the next fifty years? How could we make a difference while providing an opportunity for our sons and granddaughters to share in the blessings we've received an support our vision?"
It all started innocently enough.
I was sitting in homeroom at McCaskey, thinking about asking someone out for a date, and then Sally turned around and I had one of those jaw-dropping moments you see in movies. I had known her because we were both in the same homeroom at McCaskey for three years and in the band together, but had never really “seen” her until that morning. I saved my lunch money for a month to buy tickets to “The Temptations” concert that was going to be held at F&M and asked her in the hallway if she’d like to go with me. She seemed enthusiastic – either with the prospect of seeing one of her favorite groups or going with me – and that was the beginning. Except that the concert was cancelled at the last minute and we ended up at a last-minute party a friend threw together.
A year-and-a-half later, we eloped and were married. Some predicted our marriage would never last more than six months.
When we returned to our first apartment – a third floor, “furnished” walk-up in Lancaster – we had $205 to our name (because Sally had $200 in savings). I was going to Millersville University full-time and working at Lancaster County Farmers National Bank full-time as a computer operator in the afternoon and evenings. Sally was working full-time in a law office and going to school part-time. We didn’t know what we didn’t have, but we had opportunities to work for where we wanted to go. Once I graduated and began my career at Hempfield High School as English teacher and wrestling coach, she went back to Elizabethtown, where she got her degree and began her teaching career.
Sally’s career went from teaching high school business to banking to raising our sons to running the office for a friend who started a business in the construction industry to getting her Master’s Degree in Reading and becoming a Reading Specialist. I left teaching and worked for an international business, then worked for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry before becoming an executive coach, leadership development and strategic planning consultant. I started my own business, Conversations, Inc., in 2008 and set up my “global headquarters” in my home, where I’ve been able to serve people internationally, nationally, and regionally. I went to seminary in the early 2000s and became ordained, and serve as Associate Pastor in my church. I’m approaching sixty years of playing the tuba in many local groups. We both discovered our purposes and were fortunate to be able to express them through meaningful work. (Sally retired in 2015; I have no plans to ever retire.)
We’ve been married fifty wonderful years and have received God’s instruction and blessings in so many ways. A growing faith that has served as the bedrock of our lives together, two sons, daughters-in-law, and loving granddaughters who have added meaning and joy, careers around which we’ve been able to realize and align our purposes while serving others, and experiences that have enriched our lives. We have been truly blessed.
When we were thinking about our fiftieth anniversary, some friends began asking how were we going to celebrate? Buy a beach house? Take a “world tour?” Get that sports car you always dreamed about?
Sally had always had a heart for under-served and disadvantaged children that she came in contact with during her teaching career. Her quiet, steady love and care of those kids has always been an inspiration to me. We have supported the work of Water Street Mission for many years and their work with providing the homeless with a dignified, faith-based path towards self-sufficiency. We talked to our advisors and, with the help of the incredible Jessica Mailhot at the Lancaster County Community Foundation, “The Next Fifty Years Fund” was born.
We’re grateful to Jessica and the staff at the Community Foundation for their help in establishing a way to help homeless children and children in poverty. We have big plans and bigger dreams for how this fund may impact individuals in a way that sets them on a path for the next fifty years of their lives.