In the wake of True Networking Thursdays (TNT) board member David Starver’s passing, Kimberly Mitchell, President of the organization issued an impassioned plea for residents to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.
“I beg you all to heed the warnings and do everything you can to maintain your health and the health of others,” she stated. “This virus has many different manifestations and you won’t know which one you have until it’s too late. These are not just numbers being reported; every number has a name and every name has a face. It’s just a matter of time before it’s a face that you know and love.”
The TNT Board of Directors issued the following statement on Mr. Starver’s death:
“Like so many of you, we learned of the tragic death of our friend and fellow TNT Board Member, Donald Starver, April 18, 2020. As the community mourns the loss of such a dedicated servant, one can’t help but feel the love in the numerous Face Book posts about how he personally made a difference in their lives, and the lives of others.
“Donald had recently joined the TNT Board in the second half of 2019, and not only did he bring his incredible background in marketing and communications, he also brought the spirit of Harambee, which means “all pull together.” Donald immediately put his skills to work as our Communications Chair by elevating TNT’s social media presence on Facebook, redesigning our newsletter, cleaning up our member email distribution list, and he would often be seen running around at the TNT Monthly Events with his camera; capturing moments for eternity.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. We hope that your memories bring you comfort in this time of bereavement. Whether you’ve known Donald for years, or only a few months, we hope the memory of his smiling face as he anticipated a punch line, only to let out his hearty laughter, causes you to laugh again, as it does for us.”
There was a persona message from Ms. Mitchell:
“Inspired service. That is the gift Donald gave me and I will cherish it for life. He was the epitome of ‘random acts of kindness’ and you didn’t even have to know him to be a beneficiary of that. I consider myself fortunate that he did know me by face and by name and the tears in my eyes and the ache in my heart tell me that he is gone way too soon but his soul will live on eternally in the hearts of others.”
A mentor to young people of color, Mr. Starver also helped found Pillars of Hope, in which Black and Hispanic men counsel city school students, and he was central to the local My Brother’s Keeper program.
He served as the city’s deputy director of communications and special events from 2014 to 2017.
“Donald’s legacy will be deep and lasting, as one who was always seeking to aid those in need,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said.