Genesis…A New Beginning

Genesis is our eldest daughter Elliott’s middle name, it means a new beginning. A lot of people choose to look at the new year in the same light, a new year is like a new chapter, a new start, a new beginning. With 2017 being our first year of fundraising and starting the launch of A Charlie Girl Foundation, 2018 also feels like our new beginning, our Genesis as a full fledged foundation. It begins our ability to give, to use the generous donations each one of you has provided to take care of the children and families affected by congenital heart defects.

The end of 2017 brought in additional donations, making our year to date total approximately $30,000.00! An incredible number for our first year! This has allowed A Charlie Girl Foundation the ability to give $3,000.00 to the University of Minnesota Masonic Childrens Hospital and $3,000.00 to Childrens Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota. It also gave us the flexibility to choose to sponsor two families in our first year instead of one. Being able to support two families is an incredible beginning for our foundation, and a huge incentive to keep going. The more money we raise the more families that we can support! Each month we will provide a stipend of $500.00 to each family to use as they see fit. We will provide this support for the full calendar year. We will introduce you to the families soon!

As always we thank you for your incredible support and generous donations to such a worthy cause.


Kelly and Ryan and the board of A Charlie Girl Foundation



Benefit Recap

It’s been a month since the benefit, and I am still decompressing. The morning after I think our entire family felt like they had a hangover, we were so emotionally tired. I am still amazed at how incredibly successful it was!

As the founder, I had some goals and expectations in my head that I was hopeful to meet. My family and board members were careful to keep me grounded and also to work hard with me to make it as much of what I hoped for as they could, but I think some of them thought I was a bit crazy. I really wanted 100 auction items, 100 bottles of beer/wine for the wine pull. I wanted 200 people, and I was so hopeful that we could raise $10,000.

Through a lot of hard work, the auction items started to come in mid-summer, and by fall they were pouring in. In fact when we started selling tickets to the benefit, which proved to be a far slower process, we began to get concerned as a board because we had more items (over 100) than people coming to the benefit. Even two weeks before the benefit was going to happen we had only about 90 people signed up to come. But man, you guys were faithful supporters and continued to buy your tickets up until the last moment. We knew it might be hard outside of the city, and on a Thursday night . . . but incredibly we sold 185 tickets! Over 100 items, nearly 200 people, and just under 100 bottles for the wine/beer pull. My goals were turning into a reality. Then the event happened, the benefit itself . . .  it all came together and culminated into what felt partly like a wedding and Charlie’s funeral to me combined. It was incredibly satisfying to have the night become a reality, to see you all attend, to hug so many of you who have supported us for years, but it was also two days after the 6th anniversary of her death. That was hard, that is always hard, but that is also why we do this; we give back, we honor her, we give her life the legacy and meaning that started with her birth, and did and will not end with her death.

That night, hitches and all (you know that check-out line – wowza) was still, in my mind, incredibly successful. We learned a lot as a board, and each year it will get better and better and we will get faster and faster at checking you out. But despite the crazy check out, I have heard, and I am grateful that many of you enjoyed the night and had a great time. You were also wonderfully generous and supportive of the cause and because of that I can’t wait to share this next part with you. We raised over $20,000. Money is still coming in and I imagine it will actually be far closer to $25,000! We blew past my goal of $10,000, the goal I thought was far reaching. We doubled it. Incredible.

This will mean so much for children and families with congenital heart defects. We are so thankful and so proud of our first year. We are already in touch with both hospitals and are moving forward with finding our first family to support. We will continue to keep you posted on the distribution of the money you helped to raise.

Thank you for your beautiful support of pediatric heart research!

Sincerely, Kelly

Silent auction partners, and raffle items!

Well if you are a procrastinator like myself you are in luck! We were granted a few extra days to sell tickets by our caterer. So you know have until Sunday, September 10th to purchase your tickets to the event. We still have room and open seats to fill. Invite some friends and come have a great night enjoying good food, live music and raising money for pediatric heart research.

We have some pretty impressive items up for bid at the silent auction, check out our events page and look at the bottom for the list of all our partners who have donated to the event.

We also have added two items that we will be raffling off at different raffle price points: 

$10 raffle tickets will be available for – Martha Stewart anodized pots and pans

$25 raffle tickets will be available for – Dyson animal vacuum 

Two weeks from today….I can’t believe how fast it is coming, after planning for this all year, it is surreal how close it is to happening.  See you soon!

As always, thank you for all of the support, it is truly overwhelming to see how generous and supportive you all our!


Fast approaching

The event is now just a month away. It’s hard to believe that it is so close. The idea for the foundation started years ago, What began as a discussion with another heart mama has now grown into A Charlie Girl Foundation. The benefit which the board and I have been planning since very early this year for is set for September 21st! An event planned to kick off the foundation, by raising awareness and funds for congenital heart defects. I am so pleased with how it is all coming together. It’s amazing the out pouring of community support we have received from businesses and friends alike. The donations continue to come in for the silent auction, seriously there are so many items!!

What we need now are people. Buy your tickets and bring your friends. There are only three weeks left to purchase tickets. The ticket sales will end September 8th!

Keep watching the blog, we will begin listing all of our partners for the event, to give you an idea of all the items for the auction.

See you there!


Frilloon’s….Vacations….Bauhaus Brewery….Family Fun at MOA

You guys…the benefit is coming and it has a little bit of everything to offer for a great night out! The dinner by Little Piggy Catering is going to be delish, the live music by Duelly Noted is interactive and entertaining, and the silent auction is full of amazing items. We have so many items to choose from, but I thought to entice you to buy your tickets now I’d share a few of the silent auction items.

Frilloons ( has generously donated some balloons for decoration and also a gift card for a party package that is available. Their frilloons are so fun and add a little sass and spice to your party decorations. Something Charlie would certainly approve of, since she also was known for her sass.

We have more than one night away for you to bid on….trips to Duluth, Branson, MO, and an impressive vacation package to Big Sky Montana! Come prepared to battle for the winning bid for a night or a few nights away.

Bauhaus brewery ( is providing a swag bag full of their awesome products, and they are not alone. We have quite a few packages from local businesses and breweries willing to support local organizations. We hope you bid, but also support our local businesses who make an extra effort to give back to our communities.

One more to consider for the silent auction is a day of fun at Mall of America ( Mall of America was incredibly generous in their donations and we have a great package for the Nickelodeon Universe, Crayola Experience and Mouse Mountain Adventure Golf.

Remember to purchase your tickets… you can buy them one at a time, or as a table of 8! Tickets are starting to sell, so don’t miss you chance to attend the event. Be aware that ticket sales will end 2 weeks prior to the event. Tickets available on the events page.

Thanks for all of your support for pediatric heart research and the children and families affected by congenital heart defects! We truly appreciate you all!