Better2getherRVA

Better2gether June News

Here’s this month’s newsletter filled with ways you – our community! – are making a difference in the lives of children with serious illnesses. We also have some upcoming needs and events where we’d greatly appreciate your support.

The 2024 Better2gether Golf Classic with presenting sponsor Call Federal Credit Union took place on May 16, 2024 at Magnolia Green Golf Course.  Your support and contributions for that event will go a long way in providing crucial support services to kids facing serious illnesses. See below for more information!

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter!

Stephanie's Signature

Stephanie Becker
Executive Director & Co-Founder

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Programs

From Isolation to Advocacy: How One Richmond Mom Found Strength and Support for Her Daughter with Better2gether and Courageous Parents Network

B2g supporting families and kids throughout their journey

Richmond mom, Emily, and her husband Caison never imagined that their 8-year-old daughter, Chloe, would face a life-threatening disease. Chloe was always an active and busy child who enjoyed competitive cheerleading.

Then, unexpectedly, Chloe was diagnosed with a rare and complex disease. “During that time, I felt very isolated,” shares Emily. “Although Chloe’s disease requires treatment by an oncologist, the cancer-related support groups, camps, and programs didn’t apply.” Emily had wondered, “What was there for me and my family?”

Through a friend at Church, Emily learned about Better2gether and immediately got involved. She began participating in the Moments Support Group where she felt like she could connect with a community of caregivers on a similar journey. In addition, Emily joined the Courageous Parents Network, a national organization that supports families with children receiving pediatric palliative care.

But seeking information and support for herself and her family wasn’t Emily’s only goal. Emily applied and was selected to serve as a Courageous Parents Network Parent Champion. She sought this opportunity so she could help advocate for parents who feel alone on this journey, and to be a voice for children like Chloe, who experience multiple medical appointments and therapies.

“There are so many misconceptions about palliative care and what it entails,” Emily explains. “I became interested in the advocacy piece and became a Parent Champion for CPN. I also decided that if there is even one more person sitting in the Richmond area who is feeling isolated and overwhelmed by their child’s diagnosis, I wanted to help locally.”

Emily then reached out to Carissa Henry, Resource Coordinator at Better2gether, and asked if she could share information about the Courageous Parents Network at an upcoming Moments Support Group.

Shortly after her presentation, Emily learned that a parent was inspired to seek palliative care for their own child. “Just knowing that something I said – some information I shared – might have made a difference. That was so rewarding.”

“Our lives were completely turned upside down when Chloe was diagnosed,” Emily shares. “It’s been so hard, but it’s meant so much to be able to connect with other families who understand.”

Chloe, now 12, has been battling her disease for four years. Emily describes her daughter as “magnetic” and “effervescent.” “Chloe is brave. She has inspired her community and us. And she tries to find the joy where she can every day,” shares Emily.

Emily and her family are grateful they found their way to Better2gether. She is especially appreciative of Carissa Henry, Resource Coordinator. “Carissa is someone who’s inspired me,” Emily says. “She continually checks on me. She asks, ‘How are things? Is there anything I can do?’ I’ve been involved with other foundations and organizations, and I’ve never had anyone check on me as a mom.”

______________________________________________________

Finding Strength Together: Laura’s Journey with Better2gether’s Moments Support Group

Moments

Richmond mom, Laura, remembers the feeling of worrying about her young medically complex son, Daniel, and wanting to seek the support of others. Yet, a time when Daniel was at his most medically fragile, Laura felt too overwhelmed to reach out.

“It took ten months until I was brave enough to attend a Moments Support Group meeting,” she recalls. “Once I went, though, I kept going!”

Whether learning about how to create a Medical Binder or getting up-to-date information about changes in insurance laws, the Moments Caregivers Support Group provides monthly opportunities to connect, learn, and gain support through various speakers, workshops, and other educational programs.

“Moments has been a good clearinghouse of information. There are new things happening all the time – locally, regionally and around the country,” Laura shares. “I always take away new tools and knowledge when I attend.”

What’s equally meaningful to Laura, though, are the relationships she has built through her participation in Moments.

“When you have a medically complex child, it’s so rare that you’d meet another parent in your day-to-day life who would have any clue what you’re going through,” she says. “Here, there are a group of parents who have this incredible thing in common. Even though we may have disparate perspectives and life experiences, it’s kind of magical when we all connect and talk.”

Better2gether is proud to collaborate with the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU to bring MOMENTS, a safe and supportive environment for families navigating the journey of caring for a medically complex child.

Together, let’s show these children and their families that they are not alone. Thank you for being a part of our mission to create a supportive community for kids with rare diseases.  Together, we’re driving positive change and creating a lasting impact!  Your generous support enables us to offer these critical resources and create moments of connection and empowerment for these families.

Donate Today

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Events

Thank You for Making the Better2gether 2024 Golf Classic a Success!

Sold Out Golf Tournament

What an incredible day we had at the Better2gether 2024 Golf Classic presented by Call Federal Credit Union! A huge thank you to everyone who participated and supported this fantastic event. Your generosity and enthusiasm made it a day to remember.

We are thrilled to share the immense success of the Better2gether 2024 Golf Classic! We exceeded our goal and raised $80,000! This event was a resounding triumph, thanks to the dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm of our amazing volunteers and supporters.  Your efforts have significantly impacted the lives of children with complex medical illnesses and their families.

Special Thanks to Our Amazing Sponsors, Golfers, and Volunteers! 

Because of your contributions at this event, we can provide additional support to support children with complex medical illnesses and their families. Every swing, every bid, and every donation helps us provide the resources and community connections these families need.

A Day to Remember 

The Better2gether 2024 Golf Classic was a day filled with excitement, camaraderie, and generosity. With over 124 golfers, a successful silent auction, and numerous volunteers, the event was a testament to the power of community and collaboration. Highlights of the day included:

  • A spectacular silent auction sponsored by North Bank Partners, that raised over $8,700 and Lucky winners of over 25 fantastic items and an array of experiences.
  • The joyous moment of the golf cart raffle winner being announced. Congrats David!
  • Beautiful weather that made for a perfect day on the course and SOLD-OUT tournament with over 124 golfers.
  • Fabulous bourbon raffle winners and our top winning teams.

    1st Place Jeff Bennett, Mike Redwood, Bill Byrd, Andy Bennett

    2nd Place Rob Hines, Brian Sampson, Troy Golden, Matthew Drye

    3rd Place – Jason Pool, Matt Gordon, Shawn Gitlin, Shane Studor

2024 Golf Classic was a day filled with excitement, camaraderie, and generosity. With over 124 golfers, a successful silent auction, and numerous volunteers, the event was a testament to the power of community and collaboration. Highlights of the day included:

The Emory Family: A Pillar of Support for Better2gether 

Our heartfelt thanks go to Sandra Emory, her husband Chris, and their boys, MJ, Books and George. The Emory family may be familiar to many of you as they are not only one of our B2g families but also valuable supporters.

As one of our B2g golf sponsors, the Emory family has made a significant impact on Better2gether, helping to spread the word about our mission. Through Chris’s work at Estes, he connected the company with Better2gether, allowing Estes to learn more about the challenges faced by families and kids dealing with complex medical illnesses and the vital support B2g provides.

Thank you, Emory family, for your unwavering dedication and generosity. Your efforts are helping to make a real difference in the lives of those we serve.

Making a Difference 
Your generosity means the world to us, and it’s going to make a huge difference in the lives of families dealing with complex illnesses. Thanks to your support, we can say “Yes!” to more families seeking help for their children. For many of them, having access to the resource coordination we provide is an absolute game-changer.

Moving Forward with Gratitude
As we reflect on the success of the Better2gether 2024 Golf Classic, we are filled with gratitude for each and every one of you. Your support means the world to us and the families we help. We look forward to many more successful events and continuing our work together to support our community.

Looking Ahead 
With the momentum from this year’s event, we are excited about the future and the continued impact we can make together. Let’s keep this journey going, supporting families, and making a positive difference in the Richmond community and beyond.

Thank you again for your incredible support! Thank you for being a part of Better2gether and for making the 2024 Golf Classic a spectacular success!

Here’s to many more successful events and continued support for our cause. Together, we are truly making a difference!

GIVE TODAY

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Volunteer Spotlight

Special Thanks to Our Golf Volunteer Committee 

We extend our deepest gratitude to the outstanding members of our Golf Tournament Volunteer Committee. These individuals have poured their time, energy, and passion into making this event a remarkable success:

Sean Danowski, Thomas St. John, Brad Souder, Rob Hines 

Your commitment and dedication were truly inspiring. From planning to ensuring everything ran smoothly on the day of the event, your hard work did not go unnoticed. You have all played a crucial role in helping us achieve our mission and support families in need.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

You can provide resources to a family caring for their child with a serious illness. Here’s how your gift will help:

______________________________________________________________________________________