Director to discuss ‘The 52/52 Project’ July 28

July 23, 2014 | Events, UToday, Advancement, Alumni
By Vicki L. Kroll

As Sherry Stanfa-Stanley approached the mid-century mark — plus two — the forecast called for calm and predictable with a slight chance of adventure. But a sweeping bold front brought excitement and a hail of a lot of fun.

52 52 ProjectThe director of communication and fund stewardship at the UT Foundation challenged herself with a new experience every week for one year.

For “The 52/52 Project: Detours off the Cul-de-sac,” she:

• Suited up as Rocksy the mascot for a UT soccer game;

• Babysat quadruplets;

• Wore pajamas in public for a day;

• Rode with police and went on a raid with the vice squad and SWAT team;

• Spent 24 hours with nuns at a convent in Joliet, Ill.;

• Visited a nude beach in Florida — and took her 75-year-old mother, Gloria Stanfa, a retired UT secretary, who said, “Be sure to mention I was clothed”;

• Performed as a mime outside a shopping center in Newport, Ky.; and

• Crashed a wedding reception — and caught the bride’s bouquet.

She’ll talk about her amazing, crazy, inspiring year Monday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at the Way Public Library, 101 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg.

“The Way Library’s programming specialist read about ‘The 52/52 Project’ in a winter issue of the UT Alumni Magazine and contacted me. I can only assume they were desperate for speakers,” Stanfa-Stanley cracked.

That sense of humor and her thoughtful observations have more than 3,500 followers on Facebook. The 1983 UT graduate’s daring exploits are chronicled on, at, and will be the subject of her forthcoming book.

At the free event, Stanfa-Stanley will discuss how she decided to change her life.

“I hope people realize that if I could add some excitement and enlightenment to my life by pushing my boundaries, anyone can,” she said. “I hope everyone who’s never envisioned embarking on an ‘unbucket list’ will walk away pondering, smiling, and simultaneously nodding and shaking their head.”

For the past five years, the 52-year-old has been making folks laugh on her blog and has been featured on and The Rumpus. In 2012, a piece she wrote was included in a humor anthology, Fifty Shades of Funny: Hook-ups, Break-ups and Crack-ups, which was co-edited by her sister, DC Stanfa, a 1982 UT alumna.

What will the witty writer do for an encore?

“As I wind up the project, I’m filled with a sense of accomplishment and relief. Yet as the weeks pass, I know I’ll feel a bit of a void in my life. So I’m already planning some kind of new adventure for this next year, probably starting in the fall,” Stanfa-Stanley said. “All I can say is that it should prove fun, challenging and more interactive for those following ‘The 52/52 Project.’ Stay tuned.”

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