Susan’s Sausage Weekend Poem for David

Dear D, this is your day, and you should be here

So we’re bringing you here as we can

By remembering your smile, the fun that you had,

The treasure you were as a man

We’re making your sausage, maybe you know,

And your spirit is here with us all

We make it for you, in your memory dear

It’s the best way to kick off the fall

I picture you here, with your apron and knife

Cutting alongside your Dad

Laughing and working and being together

The incredible times that we had

We’re glad for the love that you gave to us all

And for love that we gave back to you

It goes on today as we gather around

And cheer, Best Batch Ever on cue!


July Update



Re: David Mulder Fund for Mental Health

Dear Family and Friends:

We have some news to share with you about the David Mulder Memorial Fund for Mental Health . We thought it was a good time for a report because David’s fund, in conjunction with the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF), recently made its fourth grant award, continuing the good work that comes from your gifts.

For the second year in a row, we gave money to Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center. Erie’s mission is to provide accessible, affordable, high quality health care for those in need. Twenty-six percent of their patients are uninsured.

The grant we made last year helped Erie address the shortage of mental health expertise in local underserved communities by partially funding the hiring of their first-ever staff psychiatrist. This met a critical need: prior to 2016, Erie did not provide psychiatric services at all. Erie also added a psychiatric nurse practitioner to its staff.

In September, Susan toured Erie in Evanston and met with Director of Government and Institutional Development Dana Kelly and the new psychiatrist, Dr. Ashok Nagella. (See picture on next page.) Dr. Nagella explained to Susan how Erie tries to take a holistic medical approach, addressing patients’ mental health issues alongside their other medical and nutritional needs.

This year’s follow-up award of $16,500 was co-funded by David’s fund and an anonymous partner. It will help fund a pilot program in psychiatric education for Erie’s non-psychiatrist physicians and other medical providers. This program, led by the psychiatrist hired last year, will teach them how to detect psychiatric conditions, how to manage low-level conditions (such as low to moderate depression) on their own, and how to monitor patients and decide when higher levels of psychiatric care are needed.

The need for these services is great. While Erie has 7,800 patients in Evanston/Skokie, it was only able to accommodate 300 psychiatrist visits last year.  As a result of our gift, many more individuals in our community will receive professional mental health guidance going forward.

Best wishes to you, and special thanks for contributing to David’s legacy.


Mike, Susan, Joanna and Peter


Susan with Dr. Ashok Nagella



2015 Evanston Community Foundation Grant Awards

On May 27th our family attended the Evanston Community Foundation’s 2015 Grant Awards and Celebration.  It was announced on that night that David’s Fund, combined with support from ECF, made a $7,500 grant award to the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.The grant will help fund mental health education for students at Evanston Township High School. The Cohen Institute will provide training to youth-led anti-stigma programming at ETHS, using graduate level students under faculty supervision.

Update / David Mulder Memorial Fund for Mental Health, May 13, 2015

We write to you to honor David, who would have been 32 today, and to report on the progress of his fund.  It is dedicated to addressing mental health issues, the first of its kind in the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF).  When we wrote to you in June last year we had raised nearly $60,000. With your help we have created a self-sustaining fund of nearly $75,000 to date.

Last year David’s Fund, in conjunction with ECF, granted $4,730 to Erika’s Lighthouse – A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression.  This was an excellent choice because this program is designed to promote good mental health for students at ETHS and its middle schools, where David and Joanna proudly attended.  The grant helped to strengthen existing depression awareness programs, including ongoing support of the ETHS Teen Club and training for the ETHS Panel Program, and introduced a new video on depression awareness that was made available to the community without charge.  Earlier this spring, Susan went to ETHS with Sara Schastok, ECF’s President and CEO, and watched an impressive presentation by Erika’s Lighthouse staff, interns, and high school panel members to ETHS students about depression, the ways to erase the stigma attached to discussing mental health issues, and how students can receive help or how to get help for a friend battling depression.

On May 27, 2015, David’s fund will be making a second grant to another mental health organization that will be announced by ECF on that day. We will provide updates from time to time on David’s blog at

April 27th marked one year since David passed away.  We had a memorial gathering in D’s honor.  We have posted some pictures from that event and memories friends recorded.  One friend wrote: “I remember when I was hanging out with Dave and I told him I was hungry he said don’t worry take this frozen food home and anytime you don’t have anything to eat call me!”  Another wrote, “I’ll never forget how you took me in when I had nowhere to go.  And for that I love you and thank you.”  There are more great memories to be shared on the blog.

Try to save Saturday, August 22, 2015 for an afternoon picnic in Lovelace Park, in northwest Evanston, to honor David’s memory.  His favorite thing to do was make sausage, so we will be grilling lots of homemade sausage and providing other good food.  Check the blog for updates on the picnic plans.

We want to thank you again for honoring David and our family by creating such a wonderful legacy fund to address mental health issues here in Evanston.  If you wish to make another contribution you can call ECF at 847.492.0990, give online at, or mail a contribution to Evanston Community Foundation, 1560 Sherman Ave., Suite 535, Evanston, IL 60201. Be sure to specify that your gift is made to the David Mulder Mental Health Fund.

We hope to see you at the August picnic, if not sooner.


Mike, Susan, Joanna & Peter

Messages Written in David’s Memory Books

“I remember feeling like the coolest girl in school getting a rare morning ride to Middle school in D’s car with his over-sized base speakers blaring Rap and R&B. This caused quite a stir as the three princesses of Princeton climbed out! This accomplished two things: 1) Made us feel super cool (maybe not Jo as she was embarrassed) 2) Sent a message to all the boys not to mess with us as we had a protector no one would want to cross. Little did they know D is a sweetheart. However, D did give me his cell number and told me to call him if I was ever in trouble.” – Mary Kawooya (Breffeilh)

“Dave, boy oh boy I miss our crazy get-togethers but I will never forget about the night we all went out on a Sunday and spent $250 and made me miss work- lol. I will never forget you and you will always be in my heart. Love, Ashli”

“I remember I was hanging out with Dave and I told him I was hungry. He said, ‘Don’t worry, take this frozen food home and anytime you don’t have anything to eat–call me.'” -Junior

“Dave and I met at the Keg by bumping into each other and nearly going toe-to-toe. ‘What’s your problem, dude?’ he said (me being the belligerent aggressor). Phil walks up behind me and says, ‘Dave?’ Once Dave recognized Phil and the two of them greeted each other, Phil calmed the situation down and introduced me to Dave. The rest is history. He was very well connected. I’m glad it worked out the way it did, as a result, a lasting friendship was formed. I miss him very much. May his demons be conquered in the spirit world. Rest in peace, man. Love, Shane Pratt”

“Dave, I remember the days and nights with you. Some days we would wake up and have breakfast, and some we had dinner as well. But there was never a dull moment!! We spent a lot of time together that I will never forget. From watching the Hawks to the Bulls game. I’ll never forget how you took me in when I had no where to go. And for that I love you and thank you. I miss you more than ever, bro. Love everything about you! You’ll be in our hearts forever and ever. Love your roommate, JR”

“Of all the times I hung out with David and John, two memories stand out the most: 1) Watching a playoff Blackhawks game at your house while John was attempting to explain the rules of hockey to me. He was so excited about the game and was at least nice about my ignorance; 2) Going to Bar Louie to celebrate David’s birthday where the bar was nice enough to continually play Eminem. He very much enjoyed it. We very much wish he could celebrate with us today but treasure our memories with him. Love Amanda”

“When I think of David I remember his smile. When he smiled I knew everything was all right, and it felt like home. We had a lot of great memories together…driving to school, playing video games late into the night in the “cave,” late-night talks about life in Iowa, and many others. But these three memories stand out though they are nothing special: 1) David and I would play basketball. Neither of us was very good, but we would play all summer until it was too dark to see. I miss those games. 2) Going to Miller. David loved Miller, and so did I. Although we went several times, I distinctly remember playing football or frisbee in the water, walking on the beach, and eating Susan’s famous beach sandwiches. I’ve tried to make those sandwiches, but they never taste the same. 3) When David moved to Iowa City. I couldn’t believe it when he did, because I knew how much he loved Indiana, but I knew he had a hard time there, and was looking forward to righting the ship at Iowa. Obviously things didn’t work out as planned, but I still cherish the 8 months we lived together at Church & Dodge. Although there were touch times, the good far outweighed the bad. We became closer than we ever were before, and I still remember how excited I was that my best friend was coming to Iowa City. I miss David but cherish our memories.” -John Breffeilh

“I have so many memories it is hard to fit all my thoughts on one page! I remember when me, Ashli, and Dave went out to eat at TGI Friday’s. We had a really good night: just talked, and laughed about life all night. It was one of those moments when there were not to many people around, and it gave me a chance to get to know my good friend Dave a little better. There had been several times when we had good nights, but that night was one of the most recent nights before everything happened. I looked forward to all those nights and every moment we spent. Love, Anthony Lenoir”

Update / David Mulder Memorial Fund for Mental Health

David’s fund is off to such a good start thanks to almost 100 family members, friends and loved ones who contributed so generously. Together we have already created a self-sustaining fund of nearly $60,000. And that money is already making good works possible.

On the evening of May 29 our family was proud to participate in the Evanston Community Foundation’s annual celebration of its grant recipients. David’s fund, in conjunction with ECF, gave a grant of $4,730 to Erika’s Lighthouse – A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression, a program designed to promote good mental health for students at Evanston Township High School and its middle schools. This fit our goal of promoting better mental health services for those in need. Erika’s Lighthouse was also a good choice because David and Joanna were so proud to graduate from ETHS. The grant will allow Erika’s Lighthouse to strengthen existing depression awareness programs, support the ETHS Teen Club, and make a new video on depression awareness available throughout the community without charge.

David’s fund will be looking to do more good work in the days ahead. We will provide updates here from time to time.


Mike, Susan, Joanna & Peter