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Winter, 2013                                                                                                   

Issue 21

Emily's Intro...


This time last year I was writing an introduction for our December newsletter, and it focused mostly on the St. Jude Marathon that I had run a few weeks prior.  I was certain that that was going to be my topic again this year.  And I guess it is.  Only it isn't at all about finishing the race!  Below is an excerpt from an email I sent (with credits given to teammate Adam Rolinski) to the people who generously supported my fundraising efforts this year as I trained for the marathon.


St Jude Marathon Weekend SFSF Team Members Emily Quayle, Amy Wilson and Kelly Bova enjoy a drink and friendship at The Peabody on Friday night instead of pre-race sleep due to the race cancellation.

I wish I were writing this to tell you that I finished the marathon, under five hours, without any major aches and pains!  That would have been a miracle!  Actually, I am writing for a different tell you - in case you haven't heard, that I didn't run the race at all.  It wasn't because I didn't train.  I put in the hours and miles and trained through some annoying injuries.  I was as ready to run as I was going to be, but Mother Nature had other plans.


As race day drew near, a winter storm developed.  One of those that you hear about and see on the weather channel, with the inches of freezing rain that accumulate rapidly and wreck havoc on traffic, roads, sidewalks, power lines, and trees.  I was able to travel to Memphis Thursday night with only a few minor delays, but by Friday evening, this storm left Memphis and surrounding areas in a state of emergency.


Friday night, all but five members (three who were stranded in Dallas) of Team SFSF made the wet and slippery trek from our hotel to the convention center about a mile away for the pre-race pasta dinner.  It was there that we were told the news, just as we sat down to eat, that the race was to be cancelled.  ALSAC/St. Jude CEO Rick Shadyac courageously stood up in front of us and gave us the news.   Reasons why, you ask?  Freezing rain, breaking tree branches, power outages, dwindling  number of volunteers available, runners' safety, and the lack of emergency responders, policeman, and public service people who were needed for more important causes than our race.  Here is a clip of the news we received that evening. 


Many have asked me if I was angry, disappointed or just plain mad.  Mad because I had spent so much time and energy training to have it be for nothing, mad that I wasted money and time traveling to Memphis, or mad that I spent time begging for donations.  Honestly, my first reaction was a little bit of shock, and maybe even a bit of relief!  I wasn't going to have to run 26.2 miles in 17 degree weather with 20 mph winds!  Of course I was a bit disappointed that our team wasn't going to experience the excitement that comes with running and finishing the race, but since five of our team members couldn't get to Memphis, it wouldn't have felt right to run it without them either. 


After hearing the news from the CEO, the pasta dinner continued and 2500 St. Jude Heroes, listened to the amazing story of grace and strength from a St. Jude patient, a teenage girl, who is a three-time cancer survivor.  Did I really have a reason to be disappointed that a race was cancelled?  No, I did not.  I realized in that moment that I should be thanking God for my ability to run.  And that if anyone had a reason to be disappointed and feel sorry, it was this girl, as she learned at 3 different times in her teenage years that she had cancer.  Yet here she was, in the middle of an ice storm, thanking me and all the heroes who raised money for St. Jude.  So no, I really can't say I was disappointed.

I chose to focus on the positive that came out of it, the fact that you, the supporters of Team SFSF, helped our team collectively raise $42,730!  Combined with the efforts of the other St. Jude Heroes, this event raised $8,200,000!  We couldn't be more proud, and we cannot thank you enough.


St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes.  The hospital is an amazing and powerful place.  They are dealing with seriously sick kids.  This is big time life and death stuff.  Stuff that would put many people over the edge.  Yet, the contagious spirit that abounds among the patients, staff, and volunteers is of love, care, and support of the kids. It is amazing to see this place and visit with the people who live with this daily.  Through their work, at a rate of $1,900,000 per day, cure rates climb, research and progress continues, and kids continue to survive terminal illnesses.  Furthermore St. Jude freely shares its research and findings.  This impacts thousands of other kids who receive treatment elsewhere.


As I walked through the hospital, for another tour on Friday afternoon, and heard new stories and statistics, and saw the work and observed the results of this amazing place, my team and I fought back tears and emotion as we were thanked countless times by everyone involved; especially by parents and patients for running to support St. Jude. St. Jude seriously is a life-changing place, not only for the patients and their families, but for anyone who has the privilege of walking through its doors.


A neat story I heard for the first time this year was about a little boy who was receiving chemo.  He was underweight and didn't want to eat.  Anything.  He had mouth sores and nothing tasted good.  His doctors and nurses and parents were begging him to eat.  He obliged saying he would eat if he could have mac 'n' cheese.  So the chef at St. Jude made the patient a bowl of mac 'n' cheese, which he refused to eat, saying it wasn't his grandma's mac 'n' cheese.  So what does the chef do?  He calls the little boy's grandma, gets the recipe and delivers the food to the little boy.  And guess what?  He ate it.  Only at St. Jude do you hear stories like this, and yep, the kids don't ever have to pay for their food!  Did I say I love St. Jude?


Almost all of our team members changed our flights to return home early upon hearing the news that another storm was to hit Memphis Sunday.  Some who had later travel plans, got up Saturday morning and ran anyway.  One team member, Elizabeth Rolinski, ran her entire race - 13.1 miles through the streets of Memphis. As we got in our taxi to the airport at 9:00am, I witnessed many runners on the streets who wanted to do what they came here to do.  St. Jude has a way of inspiring people to do hard things.  The rest of our team put in their miles in one way or another after returning home to get it done for the kids. 


As for where I go next, I really never wanted to train for another marathon.  But then again Sophie, the St. Jude patient I mentioned above, and all other kids with cancer, never WANTED to receive a horrifying diagnosis.  So I think I will give it one last shot for the kids of St. Jude on April 26, 2014 at the St. Jude Country Music Marathon in Nashville.  I need teammates.  So far I am going solo.  And next December, I will be back in Memphis for the half marathon, and we are always recruiting team members!


Thanks so much for your generous giving.  I thank you, and so do all the people of St. Jude.  Believe me it is money tremendously well spent!


Since I have now used up my allotted space for this intro I leave you with just one final thought as we approach the miracle that is Christmas.  And that thought is for you to consider that this a true season of giving; not just to our family and friends, but to others who may need it more than we can begin to comprehend.  I know there are many charities that count on the end-of-year donations from their supporters, and so do we.  Today and everyday, including Christmas, a child's family will hear the news that their child has a brain tumor.  A mother and father will feel as though the world is collapsing around them.  They might spend Christmas in a hospital as their child receives treatment, or barely clings to life, while we, the lucky ones, exchange gifts and make happy memories with our loved ones.  Would you consider making a donation to SFSF for Christmas, to make a difference in the life of a child and their family, so that they too might be able to focus on this season of hope during a time when they really need it the most?  Thank you for your consideration.  No amount is too small.  Just click here to donate!


Blessing to you and yours this season and in the New Year!

Emily Quayle

SFSF Board President

Sophie, Sarah, and Marie's Mommy 


Spotlight: Ne'Vaeh Littleton


Meet eight-year-old Ne'Vaeh Littleton, this issue's Smiles for the Season spotlight.  Ne'Vaeh's adoptive parents, Mattie and Louis proudly reveal that Ne'Vaeh's name is "heaven," spelled backwards and say that he has brought them a bit of heaven on earth. Ne'Vaeh's Facebook page is called "Walking By Faith with Ne'Vaeh," and the motto clearly reveals the deep convictions of the family.


Ne'Vaeh is crazy about sports, especially football and basketball, still manages to be among the top academic students in his class, and he loves to read.  Last fall, he played for the District Heights Chiefs, which this year has adopted him as their honorary team captain. With a motto, "Play 4 Ne'Vaeh, Pray 4 Ne'Vaeh," the team had won the Greater Metropolitan Youth Football League championship game in Silver Springs, Maryland on November 10, and Ne'Vaeh was thrilled to run out on the field and score the final touchdown for his beloved team.


Diagnosed with DIPG in April of 2013, Ne'Vaeh, who resides in Clinton, Maryland, received his six-weeks of radiation at National Institute of Health (NIH) in Rockville, Maryland, and is currently receiving monthly chemo treatments at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.


An MRI in August revealed tumor shrinkage of 3mm, and his MRIs since then have all indicated that the tumor is stable. His chemo regimen continues, but is re-scheduled when his platelets become too low, but that has occurred just once since his chemo began. Ne'Vaeh was currently "good to go" for his last chemo session the week of December 3.


Since the completion of his radiation, Ne'Vaeh has enjoyed the special treatment of several childhood programs. This past summer was a busy summer for Ne'Veah, and he was able to enjoy horseback riding, fishing, boating, and ball games in Ocean City, Maryland, all courtesy of Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation.  The Casey Cares Foundation provided him with four tickets to a WWE event; Ne'Vaeh's love of sports and active life style found Ne'Vaeh busy, busy, busy, but ready to return to school in the fall.


His Make-A-Wish trip in October started with a limousine ride to the airport for a trip to Oklahoma. There he met with the Oklahoma Thunder basketball team and his favorite hoopster Kevin Durant, who still proudly continues to wear the "Walking With Faith" bracelet given to him by Ne'Vaeh. The wish included meeting all the teammates, getting autographs, and actually making a basket (after 33 attempts) on the Thunder court.


After the events and medical treatments, Ne'Vaeh was baptized on December 1, at Abundant Life Family Fellowship in Oxon Hill, Maryland; a true testament to his motto,"Walking By Faith." It's no wonder that Ne'Vaeh's favorite color is green, the color of hope.

Compliments of the Check 6 Foundation, Ne'Vaeh was a pilot for the day, rode on a fire truck, and toured the station.  Among his prized possessions is an autographed T-shirt from Michelle Obama.

His United Fantasy Flight to the North Pole at Dulles International Airport, December 9, courtesy of Children's Hospital, took Ne'Vaeh on an imaginary ride to Santa's home, along with other children, for an out-of-this world, pre-Christmas event. Children's Hospital and their Magic Fairy Missions for Pediatric Cancer Warriors continuously provide events, treats, and activities to lift the spirits of its patients.


Ne'Vaeh's first early Christmas present was his "okay to play basketball with his District Height team this season." Hooray for Ne'Vaeh. To follow Na'Vaeh's busy life and medical progress, visit Walking by Faith with Ne'Vaeh on Facebook:; just reading the posts is exhausting. SFSF was happy to provide a family grant to Ne'Vaeh's family.



The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each other's burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us

the magic of Christmas.


                                                            ~ W.C. Jones



Finance Department at CHE Trinity Health

Selects SFSF as its Annual Christmas Charity

Jeannine Dufault, Board Secretary Susie Miklaski. and Lauren Francis at the CHE Trinity Health annual charity luncheon.


The System Office Finance Department of CHE Trinity Health donated $6000 (yes, that was six thousand dollars) to Smiles For Sophie Forever at its annual charity luncheon, Monday, December 16, held in its Livonia office. Additional donations totaling $100 were also made by CHE Trinity Health employees.  According to SFSF President and Sophie's Mommy Emily Quayle, "This was the largest, single donation this year!" Attending the luncheon and receiving the donation were Sophie's grandparents, Frank and Susie Miklaski.


SFSF was nominated for the bequeath by Lauren (Reed) Francis, senior financial planning analyst with CHE Trinity Health and Susie's former student. When contacting Susie about the award, Lauren admitted feeling uncomfortable calling Susie by her first name, still referring to her, as "Mrs. Miklaski."


Each year the more than 100 employees in the department host a Christmas luncheon and present the monetary donation to the nominated charity receiving the most votes. According to Lauren, employees may submit a nomination, which includes a short description of the charity. Lauren's nomination included The Foundation's web address.  She said, "I think many people visited the site, and were moved by Sophie's story and the work of SFSF." In addition to the monetary award, the department also chooses a Secret Santa charity which receives gifts; this year's Secret Santa Charity was Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO) Life Choices, which serves Wayne County, Michigan, and is headquartered in Detroit.  NSO Life Choices "provides services and support for adults and children with developmental disabilities...ensuring that those served remain in the least restrictive and most integrated community."   


As recipients of the Secret Santa Award, NSO was showered with literally, piles of new clothing and a huge variety of toys and games. By the $6,000 donation to SFSF and the tables filled with donations for NSO, the generosity of the employees was so very evident.


"CHE Trinity Health is the second largest Catholic health care delivery system in the nation, serving people and communities in 20 states from coast to coast with 82 hospitals, 88 continuing care facilities and home health and hospice programs that provide 2.3 million visits annually....The organization returns more than $800 million to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community health programs." It appears that the System Office Finance employees of CHE Trinity Health have taken the lead of their employers with their charitable giving and extreme generosity.


Susie made a presentation about Sophie which included video clips; she also shared information about The Foundation:its mission, work, activities, and accomplishments.  Moved by Lauren's nomination of SFSF and overwhelmed by the employees' choice of SFSF, Susie commented "It's such an honor to receive gracious gestures by former students. What makes it extra-special is that Lauren was my student long before Sophie was even born.  For Lauren to consider Sophie and her cause, (her younger siblings who were also my students) makes me realize that Sophie was more than mentioned at the Reed home. Well, I know it was because Lauren and many of her family members have personally donated to SFSF." 


The delicious and ample luncheon buffet, along with the afternoon program of the welcome, the reflection, the blessing, and the ice-breaking Christmas trivia games, gave testament to not only the friendship, the camaraderie, the generosity, and the fun-loving attitude of true Christmas spirit, but the year-long spirit of the employees of CHE Trinity Health.


SFSF thanks the Finance Department of CHE Trinity Health for its donation and Lauren, for her nomination of SFSF. SFSF feels so blessed, and wishes all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.


SFSF, So Thankful for Sew Sisters

Sew Sisters, Reagan Walters, Ella Green, Grace Walters and Abby Green sell their wares at the fall vendor fair.

The Sew Sisters: Abby (11) and Ella (8) Green, daughters of Board Member Shawn and his wife, former Board Member  Stacey Green, along with Grace (10), and Reagan (9 ) Walters, daughters of former Board members Chris and Kim Walters, are the proud designers of pop-tab bracelets and the proud donors of $39.50 to SFSF, their profits from bracelet sales. Grace had been a member of Sophie's play group and was one of Sophie's little friends.


Selling their creations at the Avon Lake Early Childhood PTA (ALECPTA) re-sale event  (Kid's Closet) on Oct. 5, 2013, at Avon Lake High School,  and at the July 4th Bash & Dash, the four are to be congratulated for their hard work, creative efforts, and gracious generosity.  SFSF truly appreciates the work of these girls who are so young in age, but so big in heart.


Let's hear it for the boys 

Nicolas and Zachary manning their bake sale table.


Zachary (6) and Nicolas (3) Smith, sons of Matt and SFSF VP of Awareness Sarah Smith sold baked goods at their Neighborhood Garage Sale in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, on Saturday, October 12, 2013, to benefit the SFSF  St. Jude Marathon Team (see Ice Storm), donating $36.  While Matt manned the garage sale, Sarah was out on another of her training runs. (Maybe, just maybe, the boys had cupcakes for lunch.) SFSF thanks the efforts of these little guys who did their part in raising money for St Jude.


What makes St. Jude so special

st. jude logo


Hopefully, most of the readers of Smiles For the Season will not have a sick child with a medical reason to visit St. Jude in Memphis, but for The Quayles and the family of Sophie Quayle, St. Jude is a very special place indeed, and including St. Jude as a benefactor in the SFSF mission statement is a testament of how special St. Jude really is! 


Sophie was treated at St. Jude, from February, 2007 through April of 2007, and continued to be monitored there until her passing in October of 2007. The dedication to, love of, and fundraising for St. Jude has been obvious since the inception of SFSF.

Besides the fact that Sophie was treated at St. Jude, what makes St. Jude so special? First and foremost is the quality care and concern offered by the St. Jude staff, but in the real world perspective, it is the fact that the parents of the all children treated at St. Jude, regardless of their medical insurance and ability, pay nothing; furthermore they never, ever see a bill or insurance statement. That, in itself, is a great relief to parents of a child with a catastrophic illness. Sounds great! Unfortunately, St. Jude is not right around the corner for most parents. In fact St. Jude has had patients from all 50 states and from around the world. Not to worry. St. Jude covers the transportation costs for the patient and a parent; in fact St. Jude makes all the travel accommodations.

While being treating at St. Jude, patients and their families are provided with housing as well.  Most of the St. Jude patients are treated on an out-patient basis. The three housing facilities are: The Target House, The Ronald McDonald House, and the Grizzlies House. Residency at each, which also includes meals, is based on length of stay in Memphis. Although not home, the facilities offer fellowship and friendship among the many families, as well as providing transportation to and from the hospital.

Besides the relief of not worrying about medical costs, living arrangements, room and board, and transportation expenses, St. Jude offers top-notch medical care. Stay tuned to the next issue of Smiles for the Season to read about the medical care, achievements, and advancements at St. Jude.




May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!


                                                  ~ Author Unknown




Wine-tasting event raises spirits and donations

The "Flight School" table setting; SFSF supporters Katie Evanchick, Amanda Clancey and Kelly Bova enjoy the evening of friends and fun. 


SFSF commemorated the end of Childhood Cancer Awareness month on September 30, 2013, by hosting a wine-tasting party at Rocky River Wine Bar, in Rocky River, OH. The event was a biddable item from the SFSF Ohio Golf Outing, held at Mallard Creek, with the winning bid won by SFSF President Emily Quayle and SFFS Treasurer Andrea Bucci. The pair decided to make the event into a SFSF fundraiser.  Sixteen loyal SFSF supporters purchased tickets and enjoyed an evening of five different wines, served with a complimentary delicacy; more importantly the guests shared the spirit of friendship. The $405 proceeds from the ticket sales were donated to SFSF.  Although SFSF referred to the event as, "Cheers to Fighting Childhood Cancer," Rocky River Wine Bar dubs the event, "Flight School." 


SFSF grants near $415,000 


Since September 1, 2013, the Foundation has helped 13 families and awarded $12,200 in grant money, bringing the total amount of family grants awarded to $305,553. The grand total donated by SFSF, including donations to The Cure Starts Now ($57,000) and St. Jude ($50,000), is $412,553.

Beginning in 2014, the grant process will allow families to apply for up to a $1,000 grant twice a year instead of just once per year. The application instruction sheet and the application itself can be found on the SFSF website. For any questions regarding the grant process, please contact Shawn Green, the SFSF Grant Committee Chairperson.

Every month, the SFSF Grant Committee approves applications for financial assistance for families of children with brain cancer. The children of the families who received grants in September, October and November 2013 are:

  • Jah'Navi, age 6 - DIPG
  • Brianna, age 9 - anaplastic ependymoma
  • Amari, age 3 - pilomyxoid astrocytoma
  • Ne'Veah, age 8 - DIPG
  • Dominic, age 12 - astrocytoma
  • Anonymous, age11 - medulloblastoma
  • Trevor, age 3 - medulloblastoma
  • Mariah, age 17 - died from a grade 3 rhaboid meningioma, Oct 2013
  • Natalia, age 10 - large infiltrative bithalmic mass
  • Amber, age 18 - glioblastoma multiforme grade 4
  • Justin, age 8 - pineal gland germ cell tumor
  • HaileyAnn, age 14 - glioblastoma multiforme grade 4
  • Sabrina, age 16 - medulloblastoma
In This Issue
SFSF is CHE's Christmas Charity
Sew Sisters Donate to SFSF
Bake Sale for St Jude
St Jude is Special
SFSF Family Grants
2013 Christmas Ornament
St Jude Marathon Weekend Report
Holiday Shopping Extravaganza
SFSF Sppeal
ACCO's Gold Ribbon Tree
Memorials contrucbute to SFSF

Start a SFSF collection; add to the collection

Need a last-minute Christmas idea? There is still time to order a 2013 SFSF commemorative ornament. Sixth in the collection, the 3.5 inch pewter-colored, zinc ornament features the SFSF rainbow logo and hangs from a silver ribbon. Selling for $10.00 each, with free shipping, the ornament can be ordered on the SFSF website, or locally, by calling Emily @ 513-260-0917. Ornaments from 2009, 2011, and 2012 are also available. Free holiday shipping for all gift store items makes now a great time to purchase some SFSF swag!




Christmas, my child, is love in action.

Every time we love, every time we give,

it's Christmas.  


                                                            ~Dale Evans Rogers      


Ice storm freezes St. Jude Marathon Weekend

Team SFSF at the Heroes Pasta Party.

Front Row: Lauren Hicks, Andrea LaForce, Sarah Smith, Susie Miklaski, Emily Quayle, Leslie Deebach, Nina Stanossek, Doug Karn;

Back Row: Trent Wilson, Kelly Bova, Kathy Farquhar, Amy Wilson, Jennifer Slater, Misty Karn, Adam Rolinski, Elizabeth Rolinski


One horrendous ice storm! Stranded participants! Early departures from Memphis! Homemade race courses! But, $42,730 was raised by the SFSF St. Jude Marathon Team!

The original 21-member team, ranging in age from 26-67, who registered for the St. Jude Marathon Weekend, Dec. 6-8, 2013,  included 9 veteran participants, 12 newcomers, 7 full marathoners, 7 half marathoners, and 7 5K Grizzlies House runners. Hailing from seven different states --- Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin --- they raised that SFSF-record-setting amount, including the $15,000 from SFSF.

The ice storm, originating in Texas made its way across the U.S. and hitting Tennessee before moving northeast, stranded three full-marathoners in Dallas:  newcomers Seth Cooke (recent Iron Man finisher), and Lance Herron, along with veteran participant, Charly Miklaski, Sophie's godfather; two 5K newbies to St. Jude, Jamie Collins and Brad Farquhar were also incapacitated by the weather.  These five never arrived in Memphis to hear the 12-hour-before-the-race announcement by St. Jude CEO Rick Shadyac that all the race events had been cancelled.

However, the spirits of the 16 members, already in Memphis and feasting at the pasta dinner, were far from frozen, although most hustled out of Memphis the following day to beat the next, predicted bout of severe weather.

While most of the SFSF team members were enjoying breakfast in the Heroes Lounge at The Peabody Hotel, the Wisconsin team members, veteran Jen Slater (full) and newbie Nina Stanossek (full), managed a shortened version of their races in Memphis, and newbie Leslie Deebach (5K) logged 9 miles on Saturday morning before their scheduled departures. With much determination, veteran Elizabeth Rolinski, completed her entire 13.1 miles in Memphis early Saturday morning before embarking on her 12-hour car ride to Michigan, while her husband, Adam, a 5K newcomer, did more than his scheduled event and "ran for an hour." Elizabeth and Nina (who was only planning on 10 miles but met up with Elizabeth finished the last 3.1 miles with her) even managed to end their runs at the "real finish line" in AutoZone stadium!

First-time participants Misty and Doug Karn (5K newbies from MI), along with Andrea LaForce (a half newbie from VA) remained in Memphis until Sunday, with Misty hitting the hotel treadmill, dressed in her SFSF team shirt, for her committed 5K.

Once home,  some resumed their life-before training routines, but some opted to run their own races back home, among them veteran participant Amy Wilson (PA), dressed in her Team SFSF shirt, and newcomer Seth Cooke (TX) who ran full marathons on their make-shift 26.2 routes. Amy's husband, Trent Wilson, a veteran participant, completed his 13.1 miles on a treadmill at their local gym as by the time Amy returned from her run, the falling snow was just too much.
Veteran Sarah Smith, also dressed in her SFSF team shirt, completed her 13.1 miles Sunday morning in Florida, in much warmer weather and with a personal, cheering team of husband Matt and sons, Zach and Nic, who met her at miles 10 and 11. 

Team Captain and SFSF President Emily Quayle ran 14 miles in her Ohio hometown on Sunday after she also returned early from Memphis, with a planned (but never completed due to more winter weather!) half-marathon the following Sunday in Sandusky, accompanied by half newcomer Kelly Bova.

The remaining team members, veterans Susie Miklaski, Charly Miklaski, and Kathy Farquhar and newcomers Jamie Collins, Doug Karn, Brad Farquhar, Andrea LaForce, Lance Herron, and Lauren Hicks will surely meet their commitments when weather and schedules in their hometowns cooperate.

All registrants were offered their medals, registration refunds, goodie bags, and race shirts. Many opted to donate the cost of registration and suggested St. Jude give the finishing medals to the patients at St. Jude, the real St. Jude heroes. Despite the let-down of a much-anticipated event, the 21 members pledged to be back next year for the real thing and are already recruiting new members!

SFSF and the SFSF St. Jude Marathon team thanks all those who generously donated to the fundraising efforts, making the $42,730 to St. Jude quite impressive.


Holiday Extravaganza Benefits SFSF 

Vendors set up their tables at the fall vendor fair.

The first-ever SFSF Fall Vendor Fair was held at Holy Spirit, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. Organized by former SFSF Board member and two-time Bash & Dash director Kristin Van Euwen, the event raised over $3000 for The Foundation.

Featuring 30 various vendors and crafters, the fair also included a SFSF bake sale, the SFSF store, and a Chinese raffle, comprised primarily of items donated by the vendors in attendance.

The event proved to be an excellent opportunity for area residents to get an early start on their Christmas shopping. Attendees commented on both the variety of vendors and the convenience of having so many popular businesses available in one location. 

SFSF thanks Kristin for organizing the event, Father Beatty and Holy Spirit for providing the cost-free venue, the donors, the bakers, the volunteers, and those in attendance who helped make this first-ever event a success.

Special thanks to Father Beatty who allowed SFSF to sell the remaining baked goods in the church's gathering area before and after the Saturday Mass, netting an additional $80.00 for cause.




Christmas is doing a little

something extra for someone.


                                                         ~ Charles Schulz




2014 SFSF Appeal, On the Back Burner  


As the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season ultimately provides the peace and tranquility of the true meaning of Christmas, SFSF anticipates the New Year and the creation, production, and mailing of the 2014 SFSF Annual Appeal. The 2013 Appeal added $14,685 to SFSF's coffers, a record amount since the first appeal in 2009. As the scope, activities, and familiarity of SFSF increases so do the SFSF supporters and donors. Over the past five appeals, SFSF has received $44,822, with a significant increase each year. Remember this Christmas the upcoming appeal and how appeal donations will truly be in keeping with the season of giving. SFSF is forever indebted to the continuous donations of its many supporters. SFSF hopes that the spirit of Christmas remains with all throughout the entire year.


In the spirit of the season 


Jamie Collins, a high school friend of Emily Quayle and Sarah Miklaski and first-time (but stranded) 2013 Team SFSF St. Jude Marathon participant found a special way to support SFSF.  As a physical education teacher at Harvest Elementary School in Saline, Michigan, Jamie posted a note on her school website, encouraging any children who wanted to remember her with a Christmas gift, "to simply make a donation to SFSF." To date $25.00 in donations has been received, and Christmas vacation begins officially after school on Friday, Dec. 21, the day when most gifts are given.  Jamie commented, "It's always nice to be thought of by my students at Christmas time, but I hope my message rings loud and clear about the real spirit of Christmas." SFSF thanks Jamie for such a special Christmas gift.



Golden tree commemorates

childhood cancer victims 

The gold ribbon tree in D.C.


Last Saturday, December 14, 2013, a 23-foot tree decorated solely with thousands of gold ribbons was displayed at the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, DC. The gold ribbon is the symbol for childhood cancer and each ribbon bears the name of a child who has, or has had cancer.  Once again this year, Sophie's name on a gold ribbon appears on the tree. The unveiling of the tree, the largest childhood cancer awareness event in the nation, is sponsored by The American Cancer Childhood Organization. At this family affair, time is given to all families attending to come to the podium to pay tribute to their child who was diagnosed with cancer. Families attend the event for free, and they enjoy stage performances, arts and crafts, special guests, food, and more. The handmade ribbons are returned to the families upon request when ordering. SFSF supporters have vowed, to one day, be a part of the festivities which have been held each December for the past several years.


Memorials earmarked for SFSF

Smiles For Sophie Forever is honored to have been the recipient of memorial donations made, in lieu of flowers, after the passing of both Anna Parks and Dave Smith.

Mrs. Parks passed away on September 27, 2013. Eileen Wozniak, Anna's daughter, an Avon Lake Kiwanis member, made the request in her mother's honor as she was quite familiar with SFSF from co-Kiwanis member, Marc Quayle, Sophie's daddy. To date, $667 has been donated.

SFSF VP of Awareness Sarah Smith's father-in-law, Dave Smith, passed away on October 30, 2013. Trish Smith, Dave's wife and an avid SFSF supporter, also requested that memorial donations be made to SFSF. To date, SFSF has received $150 from Trish's family and friends.

SFSF offers heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Anna Parks and Dave Smith and is honored and thankful for the memorial donations.

Dave Smith and Anna Parks.



 ~~~~ Sincere Sympathy ~~~~ 


SFSF extends heartfelt sympathies to the parents, family, and friends of 5-year-old Charlie Waller who passed away from DIPG on December 5, 2013. Charlie was featured in the Summer, 2012, issue of Smiles for the Season. Charlie's memorial service will be held this Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 at People's Church in East Lansing. Children in attendance are encouraged to dress as pirates, a favorite of Charlie's.

Spotlight Summer 2012 Charlie Waller

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