In Lieu of Flowers | Joseph M. Dougherty III | Exton, PA

In mid-March we began receiving many donations in honor of Mr. Dougherty and once we found his obituary, we realized his family was gracious to ask for donations to our organization in lieu of flowers.

A lover of boating, the ocean, Bruce Springsteen, guitar and baseball, among others, he was very active in his alma mater, Drexel University.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa, a daughter and son along with his parents, two brothers, grandparents and many loving family members and friends.

Below is his obituary:

At the end of his obituary, there is a lovely video of Mr. Dougherty with a photo collage of he and his family over many years. So touching!

We are grateful for contributions from the following individuals:

Kerrene Fisher, James Revello, Marcos Lopez, James Parker, Carol Auer, Geoff Cardamone, Denise Kline, Peter Goldreich, Patrick Luddy, Susan Shirer, James Lombardo, Rich Brome, Carolyn Wrzesniewski, Katie Giblin, Jennifer Perry, Elizabeth Powell, Wiley Jones, Kit Ford, Jack Dougherty, Stephen Lenzi, Julie Lisowski, Rebecca Ocasio, Melissa Esposito, Robert DeSilverio, Francis Smith, John R. Conklin, John and Peg Daily, John and Marianne Hanson, Robert A. Alston, Esq., Linda Brant, Tyler Ridgeway, Colleen Bayus, Jim Drake, Joseph Ternes, Karilynn Bayus, Maria Peterson, 6 Anonymous Donations

In Lieu of Flowers | Leah Shofron Rice | Tempe, AZ

It is always hard to wrap our heads around the death of a young person who dies in the prime of her life, leaving behind infant twins born just two months beforehand along with 5 other children. I feel so devastated for her husband and their grieving children, some who will never know their mother.

As the year began, we started to get donations in lieu of flowers to honor this lovely lady, Leah Shofron Rice.

I had to wait for the obituary to find out what happened and when I read this endearing piece, I wept for the sheer all consuming loss this family would be dealing with for a very long time to come.

Below is her obituary, so profoundly written in her honor.

“How can words on paper ever amount to even a fraction of the impact that Leah left on everyone she met? No words could ever do her justice. But in the end, we all become stories. And Leah and her story were one of a kind.

Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Granddaughter, Aunt and Friend, she was so much to so many. Leah made friends everywhere she went and once she let you into her heart, you were forever her family. Our guiding light, our beacon and really the hub of everything, Leah left us suddenly and unexpectedly on Jan 2, 2022.

Born in Tucson, AZ on November 13th, 1978, Leah was a firecracker from Day One. Always with a sparkle in her eye and with such a giving heart, she wasn’t bossy, she just knew her way was the right way!

Wicked smart and wise well beyond her years, nothing was more important to Leah than her family and everything she did, she did in a great, big way.

Adventuring with her 7-year-old son, Parker was her absolute favorite pastime. The two were as close as any mother and son could be. Soul mates.

After years of wishing, hoping and praying, Leah and her husband Dave welcomed beautifully perfect twins, Ella and Franklin on November 10, 2021, and Parker was promoted to “Big Brother.”

Leah is survived by her husband, Dave, son Parker (7), newborn twins, Franklin and Ella, and 4 step-children, Emily, Matt, Andy and Abby. She is also survived by both her parents, Helen Locascio (Tom) and Mark Shofron (Joni).

Left with fond and colorful memories are Leah’s three sisters, Tania Brasfield (Brian), Karen Shofron and Ann-Marie Marchildon-Fletcher (John), as well as two brothers, Zachary Shofron and Jacob Shofron.

She also leaves two nephews, Blake Brasfield (9) and Beckett Brasfield (7) and two Grandmothers, Patricia Horn and Dolores Ray.

All of the family and friends, too numerous to list, but so important, and all who all have been touched by Leah’s luminous light.

Leah, we wish your time with us could have been longer. We know you wouldn’t want us to mourn, but instead celebrate you having lived and your loving, generous spirit that carries on in your children. Until we meet again.

If you feel compelled to honor Leah’s memory, donations may be sent to:The Foundation for Grieving Children – or

Leah Shofron Rice Memorial Education Fund Hosted by Aunt Karen Shofron

We’d like to thank the following individuals who donated to the Foundation for Grieving Children in honor of Leah:

Krishna Madane, Elizabeth Clement, Nancy and Brian Quint and an anonymous donor

We are sending our love to the Rice family and all their extended family and friends who grieve her loss.

If you’d like to see a wonderful gathering to celebrate Leah’s life, you can go here.

CrossFit 77 | Mooresville NC | Fundraising Ambassador

In mid-December 2021 we started to obtain several donations on our site from the same town in North Carolina.

When this happens I usually think someone has died and their family and friends are directing donations to us in honor of their loved one and for the benefit of grieving children.

Well, in this case, it seems a gym – CrossFit 77 – located in Mooresville, North Carolina decided to hold a 5K run in honor of the son of one of its members, who has unexpectedly passed away at the age of 32.

Army Sergeant David Mazzullo has left behind his parents, wife and son as well as many other beloved relatives and friends.

We are so grateful to CrossFit 77 for welcoming us into their fundraiser.

Below was the post for the event to honor Sgt. Mazzullo which was attended by hundreds of individuals in the community!

Many thanks to Jaspen and the entire staff who created this amazing event and to the family of Sgt. Mazzullo who we pray for and know his memory will live on forever.

Latiera Harmon | Essential Living | Fundraising Ambassador

It’s such a blessing when someone reaches out to you from across the country with the intent to bless others who have also experienced the death of a parent.

This was Latiera Harmon’s original goal for Father’s Day 2021 to honor her father who took his life when she was 8 years old.

Yet, unfortunately, all didn’t go as planned.

With the pandemic, every time we tried to find a center, it wasn’t open for face-to-face support groups in California, where she lives.

While we tried for months to get in touch, finally around Thanksgiving we decided to ship the gifts to us in Florida and, since we don’t have the same restrictions as California, we would find a great home for her generosity.

And so at the end of the year, we visited with Marla Sullivan at New Hope for Kids, our local Center for Grieving Children in Central Florida.

Marla, its Director of Development, graciously welcomed all of Latiera’s kindness and we just know there were many happy little ones from her gifts.

Mary Mac delivering Latiera Harmon’s gifts to Marla Sullivan of New Hope for Kids, Maitland, Florida

Thank you Latiera for all your hard work to wrap them all individually and make them so special for hurting young ones.

If you are in need of Amway products or would like to take a look at her site, please visit her here.

We are grateful you chose The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. as your charity of choice and for supporting our cause.

You are a blessing to many!