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Pouches' Community Corner

The Laila Rose Foundation

Established in 2006 in memory of Laila Rose Engh, The Laila Rose Foundation partners with Living Hope Adoptions to provide financial assistance to families adopting foreign born children with medical needs. Laila Rose, the namesake of the charity, and her mother, Lisa, lost their lives tragically in an automobile accident in 2005.

Out of the family’s loss, the Laila Rose Foundation seeks to bring the sort of joy to others that Laila brought to the lives of her family and friends. The Foundation’s hope is to give other children “the gift of confidence and joy that Laila Rose exuded every day in her short life.”

"I am honored to serve as the President of the Laila Rose Foundation. The tremendous work started by my mother, Patricia Engh, and my uncle, Mike Flynn, continues today through the work of the dedicated Board of Directors of the Foundation,” says president Jeremy Engh on the Foundation’s website. "Having lost a child, it brings me a great deal of joy to help children of others. To see happiness and the improved self-esteem of the children the Foundation helps, I am reminded of the smile my daughter carried throughout each day she was with us."

LailaRoseFoundationlogoThe Laila Rose Foundation's Board of Directors supports families through providing financial grants that enable parents to better care for their child when the need arises. Families apply for assistance grants through the Foundation’s website. When choosing families, priorities for funding are (in no particular order):

• Medical, dental, vision services
• Medical equipment
• Imminent housing needs
• Rehabilitation services
• Personal adaptive support services
• Psychological/ counseling services/ support services
• Assistive technology
• Home modifications due to medical need
• Recreational to improve the quality of life for the child

This year, the Laila Rose Foundation celebrates its 10th Anniversary on June 9, 2018, at Lakota Ranch in Remington, Virginia. Families, friends, and sponsors can expect a day filled with children’s activities, beef barbecue dinners, sheep races, a silent auction, raffles, hay mazes, live entertainment and more to raise money for children in need.

Learn more about the Laila Rose Foundation and its 10th Anniversary Fundraiser event on June 9.

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Pouches Visits the Past

If Pouches' experience at History Camp is any indication, your son or daughter will enjoy joining Washington Heritage Museums and the George Washington Foundation for History Camp in Fredericksburg. The week-long day camp will be held June 25-29, from 9:00 a.m. to noon each day.

Young historians discover American history with hands-on experiences as they walk in the footsteps where the history of Fredericksburg, and a budding America, was created. The camp complements the history taught in classrooms with activities such as soap making, code breaking, colonial crafts, penmanship and much more.

While this year’s exciting program is still being planned, past activities have included participation in a costumed play-and-learning about leeches and 18th century medicine at the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, sending messages in code, quilling (a curled paper craft), and making syllabub at the Mary Washington House. For those who have not tried syllabub, it is a truly delicious, refreshing, creamy treat.

At the Rising Sun Tavern, campers learn about class and gender roles in the late 1700s while taking part in wood crafts, simple sewing activities, and washing clothes in wooden tubs and drying them on the line as was done during the colonial period.

At Kenmore and Ferry Farm, campers play outdoor games, participate in musters, learn about colonial food, music and manners. They are also taught about sea travel, navigation, dancing, and more.

The camp’s activities are designed to delight both boys and girls, and is intended for children 8-12 years of age. The week culminates with a camp-wide family picnic at Ferry Farm on Friday afternoon. This year’s campers will be the first to enjoy the picnic in the shadow of the newly reconstructed home of Mary and Augustine Washington, where a young George Washington would have learned to work and play.

Participants wear a t-shirt and a mob cap or tricorn hat provided by the camp. Each day campers travel to a different location, so that by the end of the week they have visited the Mary Washington House, Kenmore, Rising Sun Tavern, Ferry Farm and the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop.

Campers take home their crafts, which have often included their very own stuffed leech!

History Camp is limited to 60 participants. Those interested should call or email 540-370-0732 ext. 24, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Early registration is encouraged as the camp can fill up quickly.

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Local Events Support Big Causes

Support Research for Pediatric Cancer

16th Annual St. Baldrick’s Event

Sunday, March 11

Written by Julie Brosnan

St Baldrick’s Foundation began in 2000 over a simple idea – shave a colleague’s beautiful hair while also raising money for kids with cancer. Money is raised around the country
every March, and Paddy’s Steakhouse and Pub on Route 610 in Stafford will host its 16th annual St. Baldrick’s event on Sunday, March 11. The event is family friendly with face painting, bake sale, a silent auction and door prizes!

To learn more about St. Baldrick’s, visit  And to learn more about our event search “Paddy’s Steakhouse and Pub” or visit:

 Support School Readiness

A Night on Broadway

Saturday, March 24 • 7-10 p.m.

Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area, a community nonprofit that promotes school readiness for children birth to five, will host a “Night on Broadway” fundraiser on Saturday, March 24, from 7-10 p.m. at Stevenson Ridge in Spotsylvania. The Rappahannock Area YMCA is the presenting sponsor for the event, which will feature a DJ, silent auction, raffles, heavy appetizers, and cash bar. Tickets: $60 for singles; $50 each for two or more; includes one drink/ticket. For more info:

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Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series

PouchesRaceCathy Weise, race director at the Ron Rosner YMCA, wants to inspire kids not enrolled in formal sports activities to try running this summer.

“When I took over as race director two years ago, I thought a kids’ run series would be an inspiration for those not in sports. The distances are a challenging but doable goal, and it’s something to do in the summer to keep fit,” says Weise.

From a small beginning, Weise has developed an ambitious three-race series for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.

“There is not a race series for kids in the region, like adults have, so kids would have to wait for a full year to compare their times in the Great Race. With the series, they get to run a mile three times in three months. It’s a fun way to look at their personal best times and a great way to develop a love of running,” says Taylor.

Proceeds from the run series benefit kids’ programs at the YMCA, Fredericksburg Area Service League childrens’ philanthropies and programs and Loisann’s Hope House, which works to end homelessness for children and their families in the area.

“It's really neat that a children’s race benefits children’s programs,” says Taylor.

Three Kid-Friendly Venues


The Great Train Race will be held on May 6 at the corner of Caroline Street and Lafayette Boulevard. The well-established event sees thousands of participants.

Shannon Airport

The Cleared for Takeoff Race will be held June 2 at Shannon Airport. The airport rolled out the red carpet last year, opening their new museum for participants.

Dominion Raceway

The Runners Start Your Engines Race will be held July 8 at Dominion Raceway.

Entry costs range from $27 to $44. Children who complete all three races will receive a custom Trains, Planes, and Automobiles Race Series participation medal. The top five overall male and female finishers of the series will be awarded trophies based on the cumulative times of all three races.

Four years and under races are not timed, and are not eligible for trophies.

To register:

Mail: Ron Rosner Family YMCA
5700 Smith Station Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Questions: Catherine Weise at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jennifer Taylor at

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Baby Levi

On August 17, three weeks after a routine pediatrician appointment for their then 4-month-old son, Levi, Liz and Angel Colon received news that no parent ever wants to hear: Levi’s liver wasn’t processing bile correctly, and he will very likely need a liver transplant—and time is of the essence. What began as concern over a lingering bruise on his lower back escalated quickly when their pediatrician noticed yellowing in his eyes and a bloody scratch in his nose that wouldn’t heal. After a harrowing night at VCU Children’s Hospital, the family finally landed at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, a facility renowned worldwide for successful pediatric transplants, where Levi underwent scores of medical tests and where he was officially diagnosed with PFIC2—a progressive disorder usually discovered in infancy and marked by the buildup of bile in liver cells leading to liver failure. Now, the family continues to take it day-by-day to learn more about both the severity of his condition and the scope of his treatment; As Liz says, “The best outcome [now] is a liver transplant, if not a miraculous healing” and “the worst outcome would be death (before transplants were available many babies were taken home by their parents to die).”

...unlike any other organ donation, liver donation does not require removal of the entire liver...

Baby Levi has large brown eyes that shine with excitement in most of the photos that the family has shared on their YouCaring site, where they are trying to raise $50,000 to cover hospital and surgery costs. So far, over 140 donors have pledged over $16K towards their goal, many of them anonymous well-wishers who, like me, are drawn towards Levi’s magnetic smile and perfect round baby cheeks. In less cheerful pictures, Levi’s eyes are weary and afraid, he wears a tiny hospital gown and there is blood crusting his nostrils—evidence of his clotting issues. These are the photos that make your heart race with the urgent desire to help. And, while monetary donations are a huge assistance, there are so many other ways to donate, including medically.

Unlike any other organ in the body, the liver regenerates. Therefore, unlike any other organ donation, liver donation does not require removal of the entire liver, rather surgeons remove a piece or “lobe,” and a living donor’s organ restores itself to full size and function within six to seven weeks of the surgery. Unfortunately, just like any other organ donation, recipients who qualify for this life saving surgery are most often entered onto a national transplant list—and it can be an agonizing wait. After many tests and evaluations, qualifying recipients are placed onto the list based on (among other factors) their age, blood type and size. Donors can be either living or deceased, but studies now suggest a slightly higher success rate for living donation. As with any organ donation, currently, there is a shortage of donors both living and deceased.

The Colon family is now waiting to find a living donor or they will be at the mercy of this system.

If you meet the following criteria and are interested in donating a portion of your liver to Levi, please call Marissa at (202) 444-1130:

• Age 18-55
• BMI under 30 for men and 32 for women
• In general good health
• Drug Free

None of this serves to minimize the many risks related to any surgery—much less one involving a vital organ—however, if anyone reading this feels compelled to get tested for possible organ donation, please visit our website,, to learn more. Likewise, as we approach the holiday season, consider becoming an organ donor, if you aren’t one already. Simply visit and with a few clicks you could save so many lives. And, to continue to follow Levi’s story, please visit the Facebook page @LiverforLevi.

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