Fundraiser event set for next week
FAIRMONT — The second annual Emmalyne’s Angel Day is just around the corner. The fundraising event is put together by Tom and Laura Spitzer, whose daughter Emmalyne passed away in October 2019 at approximately seven months old due to several medical complications. Meant to help other families who may go through similar circumstances, the second annual Emmalyne’s Angel Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 2, at the East Chain Activity Center. There will be a virtual walk or run 5K planned for 9 a.m. before the festivities begin.
Emmalyne’s mother, Laura, shares Emmalyne’s story.
“Emmalyne was born March 3, 2019,” she said. “She was given a 10 percent chance to survive the first trimester and a one percent chance to survive birth. We later found out she had a diagnosis of Noonan Syndrome, which led to many medical complications and heart defects. She defied every odd put in front of her until her passing on October 18, 2019.
“When Emmalyne was three months old, we had a vision to do something to thank everyone in our community for all the support they had given us. We had reached out to what is now considered some of the Emmalyne’s Angel Day Halo and Sweet Darling Sponsors who happily agreed to help put on this event.
“We are so grateful to live in this community. What started as a simple thank you has become so much more.”
Spitzer went on to share that her heart was set on helping other families going through heartache and hardships.
“Last year, days before the world shut down with Covid, and what would have just been four days after her first birthday on May 7, we put together a massive fundraiser to financially support families with critically ill children. Last year’s proceeds were given to an organization named Team Liam.”
Team Liam is a non-profit organization that is committed to helping families of children that suffer from the many complications that are associated with Noonan’s Syndrome. We are named in honor of Liam Schumacher, a courageous baby boy who suffered from many complications associated with Noonan’s Syndrome.
“Liam and Emmalyne had a very similar story and both Jennifer, Liam’s mom, and myself felt the need to help others. We were able to donate thousands of dollars in Emmalynes’s name to Team Liam, and with their connections have been able to help many families financially through helping with monthly bills so they may remain closer to their child in the hospital.
“As this past year progressed through the coronavirus and all the world’s uncertainties, children and families’ lives in the hospital continues, no matter what. I know I could not imagine the sacrifices and the decisions that these families need to make with all of this on top of a critically ill child. With that thought, we have decided to become our own nonprofit organization to step up and help families in a similar way.”
Spitzer emphasizes that the event has been planned to be as safe, comfortable, respectful, and fun as possible while following the best practices they can to minimize risk from COVID-19.
The event will have a free-will donation at the door, but there will also be new items that will help in fundraising. There will be the 5K, breakfast, live entertainment, a balloon artist, face painting, bounce houses, food trucks, a Blessing of the Trees Ceremony, lunch, and more.
“We hope to honor her life, so dearly missed, and pay it forward with helping families financially that have critically ill children throughout the state and locally.”