Friday, May 28, 2010

Celebration Shirts

Last year we had several requests for blue shirts like the workers were wearing, so this year, you can purchase blue or white Celebration shirts for $10. Don't remember what they look like? Here's a link to the blue crew post last year.

(The crew will be wearing purple this year, so hunt for a purple person if you need some help that day.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On the Stage

Here's the stage lineup for the Celebration ~

12:00 Maryville Dance Academy
1:00 Flying Debris
2:00 Mic O Says
3:00 Kids Contests

Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the hours of entertainment! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pay It Forward

I attended the Pay It Forward 5th grade assembly at Maryville Middle School yesterday to accept donations for the Foundation from two groups.

Melissa Hall, Kylie Mahoney, Tyson Jackson, and Samuel Humphrey raised $151.50 from their Optimist dollars.

Garret Parker raised $402 from his Optimist dollar.
The class total was ...
Thank you to those that chose the Foundation to donate to! We really appreciate it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reminders of a Dancer

One of the hardest things for us to watch is dance recital. We see all the girls (including our other 2) up on stage twirling and spinning and the memories just flood back to our other dancer. It's become one of those bittersweet things we have to do each year, but it is still difficult to watch. This weekend we experienced the little dancers again but saved our tears for at home.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Gift

I received a touching gift from Housing Unit 3A3 at the Maryville Treatment Center. A few weeks back, the inmates made posters for Crime Victims Week and these 96 men chose to honor Abrielle. Here is the poster they design and gave to me.

The poster was accompanied by a letter from the group expressing their gratitude for speaking the the Treatment Center. Here are a few excerpts from the 3 page letter I received.

"I can only imagine what it takes to speak with complete strangers about what you've gone through. However, it is such a Divine and positive thing that you do this and have found a way to help other people by doing so."

"If just one single person can walk away from your story and use it to do the right thing, imagine what you have accomplished, imagine the lives you have saved. Mrs. Neff, saving lives is a miracle."

"If that one person you have touched with your story may turn around and reach out to two more, .... Then once again you have accomplished something worth fighting for."

"And all of that just because you were willing to be a voice when someone was willing to listen."

"We ask that you never stop striving to make this world a better place."

"Always remember that 96 people got together, 96 strangers, and the first person they wanted to do something good for was you."

To all this, I say thank you. I am touched that 96 men, some whom I have not spoken to in class yet I'm sure, chose to honor our Abrielle. I am touched that they took the time to put their feelings into words and send them to me. I am grateful to hear and see the impact my speech is making on the men and am so hopeful they take it with them for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flying Debris

Flying Debris will be back again this year for the Celebration! Richard Holmgren will be returning for another performance. He will amaze us again with his magic, juggling, and comedy. And of course some lucky people from the audience will get a chance to help him out. So make sure you are there for his 1:00 performance time!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Guess who will be joining us at the Celebration ~ Clifford the Big Red Dog! That's right, Clifford will be there, walking around, meeting the kids and posing for pictures! How fun is that going to be for your little one!

Clifford staring

(Thanks Rob and Carrie Sparks for getting Clifford for us.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bill Update

House Bill 1695 passed! On May 13, 2010, the Senate passed the bill. It is currently set to become effective on August 28, 2010. Thank you to all those who urged their State Legislatures to pass this bill into law. Hopefully these changes will help other families not face some of the injustices we had to.

Spreading Hugs

Today I am going to send you guys to an online friend's blog. Tania is who gave me the kick start to preserving my memories of Abrielle through her In Loving Memory class. We have stayed in contact since then and when I read that her girls were going through some rough health issues, I knew I had to send them a care package from the Foundation. Her oldest is currently receiving chemo shots, while her youngest just had her tonsils removed and is continually battling allergies and ear problems.

If you know a child that is in need of Abby's Hugs, please let me know and we will send one their way.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Celebration Approaching!

Celebration time is getting close! I wanted to get the basic information out there so everyone can mark their calendars.

Abrielle Neff Foundation presents
The 3rd Annual Celebration of Children
Sunday, June 6th
Beal Park

Please note the change in location.

I will start giving out more details soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

sugar cookies

It's been a few months since I have worked on my memory album and participated in the challenges at Good Grief Blog, but last night I decided to work on their latest challenge to "Capture a Single Moment." I chose to capture our weekend fun of baking cookies. This was something we did almost every weekend, but unfortunately is something I still rarely do now.
The journaling reads, "The girls and I loved to spend the weekend baking and sugar cookies were always a favorite. We made them for every holiday. This time it was Easter cookies ~ bunnies, butterflies, tulips, and eggs. 2005"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


People amaze me in their generosity. We have been touched by several recent monetary donations.

We received a donation from someone that asked her employer to donate the amount they would have spent on a gift for her for Administrative Professionals Day to the Foundation.

I had two classmates that I had not seen in years send donations to the Foundation after they recently discovered we had lost our little girl.

We received a donation from someone close to the legal proceeding and who was a support for us during that horrible, confusing time.

Thank you all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

It's always a hard day for me. I receive a card with only two signatures on it instead of three. I get hugs and "I love yous" from just two girls. There is no easy way to celebrate this day for me any more. I love all my girls and its hard to spend the day with one missing. It's days like this that I feel the guilt I still carry from the accident.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Our Blessing Turns 3 Today

Forty-one days after the accident that took one daughter away from us, we were blessed with another one. She came into this world among tears and heartache, but has been such a blessing to our lives. Today our Elly has been helping our hearts heal for three years. There are moments when the sister she was never able to meet comes shining through. I'm sure she has a little coach teaching her things and looking out for her little sister.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bill Update

Looks like we need to keep talking to our local State Senators. House Bill 1695 has been sent to the Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight. It has been recommended that it pass by the Senate Committee, but has not yet.

Birthday Gifts

The Foundation was honored again to be a part of Andie Powell's birthday! She requested her guests bring gifts for other child for her to donate to the Abby's Hugs program. We are so glad you thought of us on your special day!