Our Story

The Maija Golden Creative Writing Foundation also known as The Maija Fund  grew out of our desire to honor and celebrate the life of a young girl  and her passion for creative writing.

Meet the Team

The foundation has a small board of trustees aided by a large advisory board. We are a diverse group of people of all ages and in all professions but all with the same goal, to make this world just a little bit better one word at a time.

Brendan Rae

President, Trustee

Brendan’s superpower is his diversity, his multiple advanced degrees in several disciplines and his versatile skill set is an asset to any organization. He loves his blue suede shoes and can roll an R like only scots can.


William Combs

Treasurer, Trustee

Bill has not only plenty of time on his hands but a long background in finance which makes it very easy for him to count money and make sure that it’s spent right to better benefit the foundation.
He has run several marathons and biked the US coast to coast with his lovely bride.

Joanne Banfi

Secretary, Trustee

Joanne is a design wizard in the shoe business and her secret talent is that she’s incredibly well organized and always on top of everything.
The world is her oyster and marrying an Italian made her world even more special.


Mary Taylor

Secretary, Trustee

Mary is caring, confident and calm. Her middle name is “not a problem, I’ll take care of it” and this is the motto she lives by every day. Her positivity is contagious and an example for everyone that meets her.
Mary is a true city girl but her happy place is on the beach in the sun.

Jena Rae


Jena stands with both of her feet solidly on the ground. The combination of an advanced degree in science along with a way with words makes her the oracle of the foundation.
She is everything you would ever want in a best friend.

Lena Golden


Lena is an educator and linguist originally from the Swedish west coast.
There is no cause unworthy of her support and she wholeheartedly will help anyone that needs help.



Tee Golden


Tee is THE Uncle Extraordinaire and there is nothing that he can’t make happen. He's the ultimate fixer and will accomplish anything he sets out to do. He has a heart of gold.

Patrick Golden


Patrick can make anything and can also make anything happen. He's a born and raised Jersey boy and a true renaissance man. No challenge is too difficult for him.

Maija Golden


Maija is the reason all of this came to fruition and she continues to inspire us every day. She was wise beyond her years and she was, as one of her friends very poignantly put it, fair to everyone. And that is what we all should aspire to be.

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It takes courage to grow up and
become who you really are

e.e. cummings