In January 2013, we launched the Team Kass Foundation as a way to honor the life and memory of our daughter and sister, Kathleen Paternostro Morgan. We invite you to read more about Kathleen’s life on our Lives We Remember page.
Kathleen’s entire nuclear family, including her Dad, Tom; Marty, her Mom; Tim & Tom, Kass’s brothers, and her sister Krista; joined with two other wonderful friends, Rafael and Casey, as the founding members of the Team Kass Board of Directors.
Our Dad worked tirelessly on Team Kass initiatives, and was one of our chief fundraisers and advocates. He was also our patriarch, our protector and encourager. When suddenly and unexpectedly, we lost our Dad just three days following a cancer diagnosis in September 2014, we decided to expand our mission to become the Paternostro Family Foundation, which we officially became on January 1, 2015. We invite you to read more about our Dad on the Lives We Remember page. To further define our mission to the communities we serve, in 2019 we began doing business as the Paternostro Cancer Foundation.
We know and understand that it important to keep our roots and our beginnings firmly in place, so we have dedicated this page to providing the story of our original logo and the story about the hummingbird and its significance to our family. Our original logo is represented below:
Here is the beautiful story behind it:
As the summer of 2012 approached and her time on Earth was drawing to a loving and peaceful end, our sister Kass used to sit on her porch and watch the hummingbirds. She would sit quietly with her eyes closed and listen to them buzz around all of the beautiful flowers that surrounded her on her porch. We spent many hours talking there and listening. She loved to watch the hummingbirds play. She said to me before she died, “Please do me a favor. Always have a hummingbird feeder at your house. No matter what. When you watch them, you can think of me. They have always been one of my favorite little birds.”
Two weeks before we lost our baby sister, I shared with her my plans to start a foundation in honor of her. Like a thousand other moments that are emblazoned in my mind, I will never forget that conversation. We were sitting on the deck of my parent’s cabin. The day was June 23, 2012, only 9 days before God called her home. I told her that I planned to call the foundation Team Kass, The Kathleen Paternostro Morgan Foundation and I showed her a simple mock up of the logo:
“Yes,” she said. “I love it. I love the hummingbird, too.” That day, she encouraged me to begin on this new journey. As we began to forge the path of our Foundation’s work, creating a permanent measure to honor a beautiful and graceful life gone too soon, I wanted to make sure that I understood everything I could about the hummingbird.
It was so interesting for me to learn – although somehow I think I already knew – that the hummingbird is a symbol for peace, love and happiness:
Hummingbirds, called new world birds cause they are native to North America, Central and South America, are considered to be symbols of peace, love and happiness, moreover, ancient pagans held them sacred for their tireless energy and anxiety. In Native American culture, a hummingbird symbolizes timeless joy and the Nectar of Life. It’s a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances. They are really spectacular birds, and have a lot to teach a person about self discovery and healing.
-Source: Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small
And just like that, the symbol of peace and love now also serves as our reminder to find the miracles of joyful living no matter what our circumstances. Kass continues to teach us to love even after she is gone. And, her legacy will continue through the love we show to one another. If you think about it, what else really matters?
There is so much that we can accomplish together with Kass as our inspiration. In her memory, we will continue to drink in the nectar of life.