Passion with a Purpose 10 SPYDA works to develop life skills in children through participation in the performing arts, encouraging creativity, social skills, and self-esteem. Children of all ages, economic, and educational backgrounds work together in a safe, supervised setting allowing for growth and creativity. “In early 2017, working with the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, the lead foundation of the Iosco County Community Foundation, the Diana Smith Youth Theater Fund was created to support Diana’s work with kids,” said Miller. “We are planning to use proceeds from the fund to assist us in expanding the group and the learning experiences, such as bringing in guest speakers, and taking ield trips to other theaters. This fund will allow for the youth of our community to continue to participate in SPYDA and other theater programs for years to come.” While a scholarship fund is often the irst idea that comes to mind when honoring a loved one, Miller says the Players felt there had to be a way to pay tribute to Diana that would truly impact the lives of her community’s children. “Diana tried to make every minute count,” said Miller. “She was a mentor and cheerleader for other cystic ibrosis patients, an advocate for organ donation, an activist for inclusion, and a genuinely creative soul. Diana described herself by saying, ‘I continue to try and hold onto who I am, and who I am becoming, and hold onto those that I love.’ We all felt this fund in support of the youth theater was the perfect way to honor her memory forever.” We couldn’t agree more.  Diana and her father performing together onstage. Passion with a Purpose 6