Notable Nevadan: Suni Chabrow
November – December 2017
Suni Chabrow has taken a cruel twist of fate and turned it into something sweet for others. Her son, Specialist Douglas. J. Green was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. Our Carrie Roussel recently talked with Suni about how she turned personal tragedy into a successful business and non-profit foundation that touches the lives of Nevadans serving their country overseas. The full interview can be read at nevadamagazine.com/chabrow.
Question: Where were you born? Where do you live now?
Suni Chabrow: I was raised in California, and then lived on the East Coast before returning west. I’ve lived in Summerlin for about 15 years.
Question: Tell us a little about yourself.
Suni Chabrow: I’m a gold-star mom, which means a mom that has lost her son or daughter by being killed in action in the line of duty serving their country. I go around the valley to educate people on the many gold-star families in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada.
I run a nonprofit organization called The Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation to support troops overseas. I support the men and women from Creech and Nellis Air Force bases by sending them things like wipes, toiletries, floss, and their favorite munchies while they are overseas. The government doesn’t pay for any of that stuff. When my son was deployed he was always hungry and needing things. I was shipping stuff to him five times a week sometimes. He always shared what he received, so when he was killed the most normal thing for me to do was to continue to ship the same stuff that he was sharing.
We do donation events throughout the year and the sense of community is amazing here. People call from around the whole valley asking what they can bring. And the soldiers love getting the
magical packages filled with munchies. It reminds them of home, and that we are thinking about them, and looking forward to when they get home. We’ve been doing this since 2011 when Doug was killed. We send thousands of packages a year with thousands of dollars that are all donated.
I also own Whoa! Toffee, which I’ve been making forever. I finally decided to sell the toffee after Doug was gone. We started out in my kitchen but got so busy now we have a commercial kitchen in Summerlin. It’s available at many of the hotel mini-bars in Las Vegas and Doug’s story is on the back of every label. I also play tennis and have a child that is heading to college.
Suni Chabrow: The weather is phenomenal. If you can get through July and August the other 10 months are just perfect. There is always something to do here. We’ve got theater, The Smith Center, sporting events with even more sports to come, music, and hiking.
Question: If you could tell people just one thing about Nevada, what would it be?
Suni Chabrow: There is much more to life here than just the Las Vegas Strip. The people and the sense of community here are amazing. People really care about each other.
Question: Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
Suni Chabrow: Having gone through what I did, I always say “Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
Question: Are there any Notable Nevadans who have influenced you?
Suni Chabrow: Mayor Goodman—both of them—have done a lot here. They listen to the people and make changes. Governor Sandoval has also made really great changes. They do what they think is right, and not just what the consensus says.