All posts by F4GC

Ryan Watterson of Watterson Excavation completes Peak 24

In an ingenious fundraiser, Ryan and his wife, Janae who is our Fundraising Ambassador and owner of Salon Kathleen in Enumclaw, Washington, offered to remember us as Ryan participated in Peak 24.

Their efforts raised over $6,000 for grieving children, teens and young adults and we are so grateful.

Janae made a wonderful video at the beginning of the challenge. Watch it here from her instagram page.

Watch as Ryan gives updates to his challenge. Also during the night.

And especially when he finished!

We are so grateful to Ryan, our newest Fundraising Ambassador, and all who participated. What an amazing feat!

We also appreciate Janae and Salon Kathleen’s sponsorship of Ryan. Below is Janae’s wonderful mother, Kathy Rogers, who was killed in a car accident when Janae was a teenager. This picture graces Janae’s office at her salon.

Thank you to the following amazing donors who gave so generously:

Ryan Watterson | Watterson Excavating LLC, Janae Watterson | Salon Kathleen, Reed Watterson | Watterson Excavating, Shannon Watterson | Watterson Excavating, Tammi West, Victoria Schneider, Jennie Froemke | Hawk’s Heating and Air, Bobbi Lashbrook, Jacque Chaussee, Brandon Thomas, Kacie Monroe, Dean Thompson, Ryan Lundeen | Stanley Patrick Striping Company

Poole Eye Associates | Fundraising Ambassadors

Recently we received a large donation to the Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. and wondered what the backstory was.

I decided to call Dr. Mo Poole, owner of the Poole Eye Associates in Marble Falls, Texas to thank him personally for such a generous gift and learn more about it.

Dr. Mo Poole and Dr. Brianne Poole

Lindsey, the lovely individual who answered the phone, helped me learn that each month Poole Eye Associates chooses a charity and gives $5.00 for every pair of glasses that are sold.

It seems their Practice Manager, Kristan Jesseman, chose our charity for the month of October.

“I chose this charity because I love my own children dearly, and cannot imagine their lives without our support as their parents. Kids need support like this charity offers when experiencing something as devastating as losing parents. I was so happy to find a charity that takes care of these sweet children.” – Kristan Jesseman

Poole Eye Associates | 1008 Falls Parkway | Marble Falls, TX 78654 | 830.693.3292

Heather Jamison McGinty, an Optician at Poole Eye Associates, wrote me with the following backstory:

“The professional optometrists and staff at Poole Eye Associates offer comprehensive eye care services to residents in Marble Falls, TX and to the surrounding Texas hill country. We’re proud to have built a reputation as a trustworthy provider of compassionate, personalized eye care.  

During the pandemic of 2020 our staff realized a need in our local community for support.  “Frame it Forward” started as a way for our little office to pay it forward with our sales. A way to give back to our community and have our patients be a part of it as well.

Since its inception in August 2020, Frame it Forward has raised over $25,000 to different charities local and nationwide.  Every month one of our staff has the opportunity to select their charity based on personal or professional preferences.  For every frame purchased, we donate $5.00 to that month’s selected charity.”

We are so grateful for Dr. Mo Poole, Dr. Brianne Poole, Heather, Kristan and the entire staff at Poole Eye Associates for their generosity. What a surprise it was to receive such an amazing gift!

Thank you from all the grieving children, teens and young adults who have experienced a loved one’s death, which this gift will help! 

If you live in the Hill Country of Texas, please visit the wonderful staff at Poole Eye Associates for all your optometry needs. And tell them we sent you!


Janae Watterson | Salon Kathleen Daddy Daughter Date Night 2022

Our Fundraising Ambassador, Janae Watterson from Salon Kathleen in Enumclaw, Washington had held another Daddy Daughter Date Night!

In a very unique fundraising event for the benefit of the Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc., she and her colleague Matt Fugate developed a Daddy Daughter Date Night to help Dads learn how to style their young daughters’ hair while spending some quality time with their little girls!

It was very well attended and Sunn Health Bar supplied smoothies.

$640 was raised on this unique idea and we are so grateful to everyone at Salon Kathleen who attended, donated and make this event so successful.

Thank you to Janae, Matt, and the folks at Sunn Health Bar and Griffin Brewing for their generosity in raising funds for grieving children.

If you live or visit Enumclaw, Washington, please pop in to Salon Kathleen, Sunn Health Bar and Griffin Brewery to thank them for their efforts on behalf of grieving children.

And if you can patronize their businesses, even better!

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!

Janae Watterson | Salon Kathleen | Daddy Daughter Date Night

Our Fundraising Ambassador, Janae Watterson from Salon Kathleen in Enumclaw, Washington has done it again!

In a very unique fundraising event for the benefit of the Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc., she and her colleague Matt Fugate developed a Daddy Daughter Date Night where they helped Dads learn how to style their young daughters’ hair!

It was very well attended and Sunn Health Bar supplied smoothies for the little ladies and Head Works Brewing refreshments for the Dads.

Over $600 was raised on this unique idea and we understand future events are scheduled at Salon Kathleen!

Thank you to Janae, Matt, and the folks at Sunn Health Bar and Head Works Brewing for their generosity in raising funds for grieving children.

If you live or visit Enamclaw, Washington, please pop in to Salon Kathleen, Sunn Health Bar and Head Works Brewing to thank them for their efforts on behalf of grieving children.

And if you can patronize their businesses, even better!

Janae Watterson | Salon Kathleen | Fundraising Ambassador

Over the last few years, Janae Watterson of Enumclaw, Washington, had consistently shared a generous monthly gift with The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. as a Heart of Gold partner.

And on April 3rd, 2021 she shared her passion for helping grieving children with all those who attended her open house for her business’ new location. Salon Kathleen is appropriately named for her mother, better known as Kathy, whom she lost when Janae was 17 in a horrific car crash where Janae was a passenger.

“It is important to me to partner with the Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. because I believe what this organization is doing and providing for these children is absolutely necessary and heroic,” explained Mrs. Watterson.

“It took me decades to finally find the help I needed to start the grieving and healing process.  I want to give back now, she said. This cause is very near and dear to my heart.”

To date, Salon Kathleen has raised $4,358 and we couldn’t be more proud of her and her staff’s efforts! What an amazing event and fundraising effort. We salute you!

If you are in the Enumclaw, Washington area or know family and friends who live nearby, we hope you will stop in and congratulate Janae and her staff on a job well done.

Visit her new location at 1539 Blake Street, Suite A, Enumclaw, Washington. Salon Kathleen has been in business for 15 years and has now expanded with twelve chairs, ten amazing staff and wonderful clients.

Thank you Janae for all your hard work in raising funds for our great cause. We salute you, your staff and the many individuals who contributed so very generously to the F4GC! Blessings to everyone involved.

Riley Church | Fundraising Ambassador

It is amazing what a 15 year-old girl can do to help others who are also grieving children.

In February, 2020, Riley Church from Arizona experienced the sudden death of her young father, Robert Church. He was an accomplished professional and a loving Dad.

In an effort to give his death meaning, she began an online ecommerce store, the Cactus Cove Boutique, with the partial intention of helping our other children, teens and young adults who had had a similar experience as she.

Earlier in the year, her brother gave her mother a stuffed animal – a grey elephant – which she calls a Comfort Elephant. It gave her and her mother comfort after the death of her father.

Riley has dedicated the proceeds from her Comfort Elephant Collection to our organization, The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. and we are so honored.

Please visit Riley’s store and shop for the Comfort Elephant products as well as other wonderful items for young girls.

Thank you Riley for your wonderful work on our behalf. We thank your customers, also, who are making an impact for grieving children, teens and young adults!

Bless you for all you are doing! xoxo