Honoring Someone Special

Written by Mary Garner Oden, Phoenix Fellow - Marketing & Communications on April 30, 2020

When Jill attended her first Phoenix World Burn Congress (Phoenix WBC) in 2016 as an exhibitor for Bio-Oil, she never anticipated that the event and organization would have such a great impact on her life.

Jill’s husband Scott is a Managing Partner with Deloitte and is retiring soon. As part of his retirement, Deloitte will make a gift to a nonprofit of his choice. Scott chose Phoenix Society, to honor his wife Jill and her brother, Bill Lenzen. 

It’s hard to walk away and not be completely moved and changed.

Jill Plutko

“I was truly humbled and felt privileged to be invited into the survivor community – they really want you there. When you see their challenges, but yet also see them experience pure joy being together - their courage is inspiring.”  - Jill

When Jill learned that Phoenix WBC was going to be held in Anaheim, California in 2019, she reached out to her brother, Bill, a retired LA County firefighter and encouraged him to attend.

While Bill didn’t know much about Phoenix Society or the program aside from what his sister had told him, he decided to volunteer for the first day. After volunteering just once, he was overwhelmed by the connection to, and support from, the fire service, particularly during the Walk of Remembrance. He was able to see first-hand how Phoenix WBC and Phoenix Society positively impacted the burn community. He was so inspired that he signed up to volunteer again over the following days.

Bill’s best friend growing up was also a firefighter and two years prior, his best friend’s son had become a LA firefighter as well. After only a few months on the job, he was severely injured in a commercial building fire. Upon his release from the hospital, Jill mentioned Phoenix WBC was going to be in Anaheim and encouraged him to attend if he felt ready. With the help of the LA City Fire Department, both him and his wife attended their first conference this past year!

We have a number of organizations we support, some larger and some smaller. Scott wanted to choose one that was smaller and could see the direct impact of the gift at work. He felt that was true of Phoenix Society.


Whether you are honoring a loved one, celebrating a milestone (such as graduation or a wedding), a gift to Phoenix Society is a thoughtful way to honor, remember, recognize and celebrate special people and events. Learn more about tribute gifts here!