All posts by F4GC

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

Students For Grieving Children | Autumn 2019

We are honored to partner with students who understand the pain of losing a loved one. Join us.

For 10 days from Friday, November 8th through Sunday, November 17th, we will be holding our Autumn Online Fundraiser.

We encourage

  • students who have experienced the death of a loved one
  • students who have witnessed the pain others have encountered during their grieving process
  • students who feel the F4GC’s work resonates with them

to join us to raise funds for our cause.

Using the MightyCause peer-to-peer fundraising portal, you will easily be able to make a page to honor the significant person or persons in your life who left us too soon.

You can display photos, set your personal financial goal, tell your story, and send your personal page link to others through email and social media to fundraise for grieving children. 

Millions of children experience a love one’s death each year and sharing our cause will help raise the funds needed to insure the hurting have the support groups and services they need at such a difficult time in their lives.

Please visit Students for Grieving Children | Autumn 2019 to learn how you can easily sign up and build your own personal page.

We are excited to welcome you on the Leader Board!

Cameron Wilson – Fundraising Ambassador

What happens when your best friend experiences the death of her brother?  You listen, you comfort and you help when she wants to create a fundraiser in his memory.

And that’s exactly what Cameron Wilson did to honor the memory of Nick Edwards, taken much too soon and unexpectedly in a car accident at age 20.

There are many compassionate individuals whom I consider ‘angels amongst us’ who seem to appear and give their love and care when tragedy strikes. 

Cameron Wilson (left)

And while there are many who will become overwhelmed when you’re going through grief, but others, just like Cameron, run to the sorrow instead of away from it.

We commend him for his devotion to Emli Edwards as she grieved the loss of her brother and for his support in creating the Neon Night Fun Run. 

Thank you Cameron for all you did to make the Fun Run so successful. 

May all who grieve so young find phenomenal friends like you!

Emli Edwards – Fundraising Ambassador

In June we received a substantial donation from a DECA Advisor in Roanoke Rapids High School honoring Nicholas Edwards.

Unfortunately there was no other information and since school was not in session, we needed to wait until our thank you letter was received and, hopefully, we would receive a note or call so we could learn more.

Nicholas Edwards

Finally that day arrived with a voicemail from Emli Edwards and subsequent telephone call whereby she explained that Nicholas was her brother and she developed a fundraiser for the Foundation’s benefit to honor three family members. It was a delightful conversation with a young girl whose story brought me to tears.

Emli was due on September 11, 2001 but arrived seven days earlier. She had two older brothers, Dustin and Nicolas.

In her 17 years, she has experienced the death of her 43 year-old mother in 2014 when Emli was 12, her 20 year-old brother Nicholas in April 2018 when she was 16, and her 26 year-old brother Dustin in January 2019 when she was 17.

Emli Edwards with her brother Dustin Mountford

In Roanoke Rapids High School in North Carolina, she not only created a successful fundraiser for the Foundation, but she presented an extensive paper to the DECA competition which prepares students for business life and gets them ready for college.

She received a grade of 96%, but the judges got it all wrong. She should have received 100% as her paper and presentation, which she shared with us, was amazing for a 17 year-old. We have no doubt she will excel in life!

She and her boyfriend, Cameron Wilson, worked very hard to develop a “Glow in the Dark Fun Run” and engaged corporate sponsors from the community, even getting the local Roanoke Rapids Theatre to stage their event.

They even connected with the local radio stations, newspaper and social media to get the word out.

The Roanoke Rapids Theatre, North Carolina

Sixty participants enjoyed that evening and $400 was raised for the Foundation.

They held a Memorial Balloon Release to honor the participants loved ones who had died or were killed before the event began. Then the fun began.

Emli Edwards with young participant.
Fun Run Sign with Foundation for Grieving Children’s tag line and Sponsors
Participant at Fun Run to support Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc.
Fun Run Participants at Roanoke Rapids, NC Fundraiser for Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc.

We’d also like to acknowledge and thank the following sponsors who helped Emli successfully accomplish her goal. We hope you will support these companies if you are in the Roanoke Rapids, NC area.

We are so appreciative of what Emli, her friends and participants developed for the benefit of other grieving children.

Additionally we are excited that Emli won a full scholarship to East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Wishing you much success, Emli. You so deserve it!