From the Trenton Community
I would like to say thank you to Pat for caring about others and making a difference in the lives of so many. I met Pat years ago as an intern at ISLES. He was always kind and willing to share ways to help others. I again had a chance recently to work under his leadership as a Bonner scholar with TCNJ. I am and will forever be grateful for having known such a great person. I will speak of him whenever I get a chance to talk about great people who have made and will continue to make a difference in this world. As an artist, I always look at how I can make life a work of art. Pat made good deeds an effortless infinite masterful work of art that that will transcend generations and allow all to admire his great work and his even greater heart.
Know that he will be missed!
Pat loved ideas and thinking big. I loved sharing ideas and working on making the ideas into reality. He made me feel that anything was possible - it just needed be studied, have the right people and positive energy and commitment. I'm grateful for having Pat in my life.
While I can not qualify or quantify what Pat has meant to me I can say that because of him I am a better person today, more thoughtful, more community minded and more "broad" thinking. My time mentoring at Edna Mahon was life changing and has brought me an understanding of the depth of racism and discrimination, for which I will be forever great full. And hopefully I will have Pat's courage to continue to fight against. I love you Pat, Donna, Patrick and Cate.
In the short time we got to know Pat we were incredibly thankful to have him as a neighbor and member of the Mill Hill community. We hope Donna and the kids know the Mill Hill community and neighbors are here for support and love.
Trenton has become a better place because of Pat. He embraced everyone's struggles, challenges, and missions and contributed to solutions. He will be remembered for all of the help he gave us all, and we all owe him dearly. Much love to his family in this tough time.
I met Pat at the downtown Trenton office, affectionately known as TrentonWorks. I was working on education advocacy for Trenton Central High School and we discussed a lot of things that could be done for the development of students and how to build programs for them after the new school was secured. He then helped organize space and support for a family-development organization that I strongly support - because of his skill and tenacity, many programs and people in our city can feel good about tomorrow. As a born-and-raised Trentonian, I was truly happy to know how dedicated he had been to students, families, and community advocacy. I consider him a mentor and a friend.
Pat, was actively looking for a way in which I could have my company work with the Bonner Institute. He was also a cheerful dad when he'd pick his daughter up from babysitting gigs at our house.
Pat helped to create and bring life to the 5 South Broad Street building. During my two years living in Trenton as a teacher, this was one of the lights of downtown for me. It is the only building that I have built memories inside - and many memories were built. Pat exemplified leadership by his calm, focused, collaborative style of being. He brought excellence out of the people he worked with by providing them with resources and realistic boundaries within which to prudently plan projects. His realism and understanding of how to execute a project within the administrative limitations enabled his partners to plan realistically on how to accomplish their visions in bringing quality programming to underserved youth in Trenton.
I met Pat in 2013 at the Trenton Prevention Policy Board. He welcomed my presence and where I worked at the Mercer County Correction Center. We collaborated and brought programs to inmates at the facility. With the enthusiasm of the wonderful Bonner Students, Socrates Café, tutoring, and para-legal services were offered in the law library to help inmates navigate the computer software. To this day, these programs that Pat saw was needed to enhance the men and women at the Mercer County Correction Center is still going on. God bless the Donohue Family...
Pat Donohue, working with a changing line-up of committed people, endlessly sought opportunities to elevate both the city of Trenton and its people. On more occasions than we care to admit, our efforts stall, fail, or simply never gain the traction needed to move forward. And then, with a new day, we begin again. Even in failure, we benefit from having worked together and learned together. Friendships grow in depth, ready for new partnerships that come together for new collaborations. One such noble failure allowed me to see at a wonderfully close range, the amazing workings of the mind of the visionary that Pat Donohue was. I became aware that the Contemporary Club, owners of a stately mansion and auditorium located in Trenton’s State House Historic District, wanted to make a gift of their remarkable building to a worthy non-profit that could make use of the building for the pursuit of its mission. The Club, established in the late 1800’s, has seen its membership decrease, as have so many social clubs and organizations from an earlier era. The Club membership found themselves burdened by a facility too large for their current needs, but recognized that a building of this quality, in this vital location, could serve a new organization and ideally continue to serve the residents of Trenton.
I brought this opportunity to Pat and it was joy to see what happened next. Pat quickly began to envision innumerable ideas for enlivening this building. With each conversation came another idea, beneficial to students, to Trenton, to Club members. It would catalyze connections between the college and the City, as well as Bonner students to community projects. He sought out and gained support from TCNJ department heads interested in the academic potential of a satellite location across from the heart of New Jersey State Government, including history, political science, the arts and communication. I knew this opportunity offered potential. Pat saw that in rich detail and moved determinedly to make things happen. He listened closely to the Club members to understand their needs and concerns. He came up with a plan to help the Club in very practical ways, during the necessary period needed for in depth planning and feasibility to be undertaken. Alas, the college’s top leadership did not share this vision and so it was not to be. A missed opportunity when we consider what could have been. But it surely made me want all the more to pursue the next project with Pat.
When members of the Trenton Chapter of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce decided that it was important to promote Trenton Businesses through a "By Local Trenton" initiative, Pat was immediately and enthusiastically on board. He recognized the need for assistance both in strategizing and providing resources. He committed to involve both himself and Bonner students in a significant way and then followed through on that commitment. By the end of the most recent semester, a team of students had worked methodically to establish a database of approximately one thousand Trenton businesses that will be a part of this city-wide effort. His leadership will be missed but the progress that has been made thus far provides a strong foundation for this initiative and Pat's spirit will certainly guide us going forward.