Meet the board…part 4!

It’s time to meet another member of the board and this time it’s family. Throughout my life and especially throughout Charlotte’s my family was incredibly supportive and present, as was Ryan’s. We could not be more grateful. 

I have three brothers: Tim, Josh and Daniel. I fall in line right after Tim. Though he is the oldest we joke in our family that really I’m the oldest, I was just born second. When we were young we did not always get along…imagine that.  I’m sure in part that was due to him not taking kindly to his younger sister bossing him around. Now, however, he has willing agreed to work with me on the board for the foundation so I get to keep doing it 😉 Truly, we all get along great and it’s incredibly helpful to have him on the board to help raise awareness and money for children with congenital heart defects….meet Tim.


I’m one of Charlie-girl’s uncles. I never got to hold her. I visited several times during her brief stay, but each trip coincided with a major surgery or sudden scare. The same plastic tendrils of modern medicine which kept her alive, also kept her rooted to the hospital bed. I found ways to say hello, by brushing her rosy cheeks with a finger, or tickling her toes. Her smile, though often troubled by tubes, was radiant. Despite the restrictions, and the brevity of her sojourn, she was a light, and continues to be, in our family, with our friends, and in the community. Charlotte and her family were surrounded from day one by prayerful support from friends, strangers, and medical staff. The outpouring of love and encouragement was tidal and powerful. When Charlotte fought back from a fever, infection, or difficult surgery, so many braced and fought alongside her. When she suffered, so many shared in her pain. The burden of finance, the burden of a mind filled with medical jargon, a mind constantly alert and fearful, the burden of living day in and day out in a hospital; all of these were an incalculable weight on Kelly and Ryan, but all of these were at times alleviated by the unwavering support of those touched by Charlie-girl’s light. I joined the Charlie-girl Foundation, because I love Charlotte, and I love my sister, but I joined as well, because I saw the tremendous impact her life had, and I saw how powerful and beautiful a community of support can be in times of catastrophic need. I want to be a part of that kind of heart community again and again. Supporting a family through the Charlie-girl Foundation is a wonderful place to start. I said goodbye to Charlotte, in the same way I used to say hello: by touching her foot. Her funeral was a wild melding of heartache and joy. I had to say goodbye too soon, but I felt the joy of seeing all of the faces of those who surrounded her along the way, and I felt the joy of knowing that I would see her again, and finally hold her. Her story wasn’t finished, her light hasn’t dimmed, and now through Charlie-girl Foundation, many more will feel its glow.



  • Don’t forget to check out Common Grounds Coffee, in Columbia Heights this Saturday for Bingo 1:00 – 2:30

April’s Special Partnership

It’s been a busy month for blog posts, and we are posting a little early for April, but with good reason. This month we have had a lot of news to share and April will be more of the same. We will continue to update you with more board members. We are also going to share with you our April partnership and some big news for the fall, so keep checking in and following what’s new with us. We appreciate it!

Our April partnership is with Common Grounds a coffee shop in Columbia Heights. Nick a friend of mine and former social work supervisor is part of a team that started this amazing coffee shop. With my connection to Nick, and with Ryan my husband helping to build it coupled with the coffee shop’s mission to be invested in it’s community….this coffee shop stands out to us, and holds a special place in our hearts! We hope you check it out and see what we do! Meet Common Grounds and learn how they are helping partner with A Charlie Girl Foundation….

We are Community Grounds!  While we are an independent coffee shop, we absolutely value COMMUNITY.  We understand that community can be the difference between loneliness/isolation and friendship/support.  This is why we are excited to partner with Charlie Girl Foundation and their work in the area of supporting families and children with congenital heart defects.  Their mission is our mission and supporting them is an easy decision!
Community Grounds will be celebrating 1 year of business this summer.  Two summers ago, Ryan McManimon graciously gave us several hours of his time on behalf of M Square Construction, with no promise of work.  Eventually we did hire his company to remodel our space into what it is today, they did an amazing job for us and continue to be friends of Community Grounds!  It is a joy for us to partner with his family in their work!
During the month of April, Community Grounds will be hosting weekly Intergenerational BINGO events.  Every Saturday 1:00-2:30 during the month of April, 10-12 seniors and 10-12 kids will gather in our kids space and play BINGO, winners will get a free small beverage from our menu.  The cost to play will be $5 and all those funds will go to Charlie Girl.  If you can’t make that event but would still like to stop by and see the coffee shop built by M Square, feel free, we will have an opportunity for cash donations to Charlie Girl available throughout the month.
Community Grounds can be found online at  You can also search for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Meet the board…part 3!

Once again, I am happy to introduce you to one of our amazing board members here at A Charlie Girl Foundation… meet Anna!

My name is Anna Schmidt and I work as Medical Social Worker in a Twin Cities Metro hospital. Although I never had the honor of knowing Charlie, I’ve had the immense privilege of working alongside her mother, Kelly for the last two years. Kelly is one of the most kind, patient, loving and calm women I have ever met. Qualities which amazed me even more when I learned of Charlie’s story. Years later I have experienced the love, light and joy that Charlie’s life brought and continues to bring. Now, being pregnant with my first child, a daughter, my empathy, compassion and desire to come alongside family’s in similar situations to Charlie’s has only deepened. I’m so honored to be a part of an organization that strives to support and relieve some stress for family’s facing such difficult circumstances.




March’s Special Partnership

This month our partnership is a little different then the previous months, as it is an on-going partnership for 2017 with Dan and Barb LeMire & Edina Realty. Dan and Barb are dear friends of Ryan and I and have been huge supporters during our personal move from St. Paul to Stillwater. Even letting us live with them over the holiday season a few years ago while we were in transition. They truly have amazing hearts and love what they do, they are incredible real estate agents and if you are looking to move I highly recommend them! They contacted us a few months ago asking how they can partner with the Charlie Girl Foundation and are now our special partners this month. Check them out….


Hello, We are honored to be ongoing support partners of the Charlie Girl Foundation. As support partners we will be donating a portion of our commission from each closing in 2017.  

Here is a little about us:

We are a team dedicated to educating homeowners through the entire process with the least amount of stress possible. There can be a multitude of complexities involved in selling and buying real estate, with over 10 years of experience we work with sellers and buyers on the perfect strategy to ensure a smooth transition. 

Dan lives life in high gear and this intensity is also key to the success in his career as a leading real estate professional. His energy and devotion are a perfect fit for the lighting-fast pace of today’s real estate industry. He’s an expert negotiator who protects his clients’ best interests every step of the way. 

Barb is the slow and steady, detail oriented organizer of the team.  Her expertise is a huge asset to buyers and sellers assuring that the all documents are complete and recorded appropriately. 
Specialties: Dan was first involved in the realm of real estate as an investor. In the more recent past we advised many people working through the hardships of the real estate crash, helping many people avoid foreclosure.  Now that the market has recovered our experience has helped us fine tune our negotiating skills. We have partnered with various mortgage professionals and taught First Time Home Buying Seminars. We have knowledge of various markets including Western Wisconsin. 
“True peace is not the calm before the storm, but the calm during the storm.” Working through your real estate transaction with the right Team will make all the difference. 

“We sell real estate, our business is REAL People”


Phone: 651.587.2334


Barb and Dan formal ShockLeMire_Jun15 compressed for webpage

Amazon Smiles :)

Exciting news! We are now registered on Amazon Smiles. If you are an avid Amazon shopper, you can support our charity by adding A Charlie Girl Foundation to your account. Here’s how…

Go to:

Next: sign into amazon with your username and password

Then: type in the foundations name (A Charlie Girl Foundation) – A Charlie Girl Foundation comes up at the top of the list – click select and then agree to the terms

Finally: start shopping and know that for every purchase you make A Charlie Girl Foundation gets a portion!

It’s so easy to take part. Thanks so much everyone for all of your support. We will continue to update you on more of our amazing board members in the next few days!

Thanks, Kelly