Issue 17-122 — March 18, 2017
Starshine Galaxy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help sustain the memories of children who have died. To this end, we support the Tributes to Lost Children Community Page on Facebook as a place to post, share, and comment on activities to honor our departed children and to celebrate their lives. This biweekly Tributes Digest presents highlights from this community page along with other items of interest. Please feel free to forward this on to others you know who might be interested, and direct any comments, questions, or concerns to

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“Tributes to Lost Children” Named Book-of-the-Year Finalist (March 18) – We are thrilled to announce that our 2016 publication – “Tributes to Lost Children” – has been recognized as a finalist in Foreword Reviews INDIES Book-of-the-Year Awards. Focusing on the best books from small, university, and independent publishers, the INDIES Award acknowledges innovators in the publishing industry in a variety of genres. “Tributes to Lost Children” was one of 7 finalists named in the category of Grief & Grieving. Winners in each genre – along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year – will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017. So, stay tuned …
When There Are No Words, Tributes Speak for the Heart (March 17) – Last week, in the quiet river town of St. Charles, Illinois, 16-year-old twins Tiffany and Brittany Coffland died in a domestic-related shooting perpetrated by their father, who then took his own life. The girls were just a few days away from their 17th birthday. In a community that is still reeling from such a tragic, senseless loss, there are no suitable words. But Brittany and Tiffany are being remembered as “amazing,” “kindhearted,” and “vibrant.” At the high school the girls attended, students are wearing blue or purple in their honor. Purple ribbons are tied to posts and trees all along the street where they lived. The makeshift vigil in front of their home is a tribute to two girls who are loved — and who will be missed — by many.

Millie’s Mark: Building a Legacy That Will Save Lives (March 15) – In October 2012, when Joanne and Dan Thompson’s daughter Millie was 9 months old, Joanne returned to work, and Millie started at daycare. Nothing could have prepared the Thompsons for what would happen next: on her third day at nursery school, Millie choked to death while being fed in her highchair. A few months later, Joanne and Dan set up Millie’s Trust, a nonprofit charity with a very clear mission: to train parents and nursery professionals in administering pediatric first aid. The Trust has since campaigned tirelessly for all daycare and nursery school staff to be trained in pediatric first aid. As part of the ongoing effort, it created a program, called Millie’s Mark, that gives a quality mark of excellence to day nurseries that meet rigorous first aid and safety standards.

Quinn’s Cup: For the Love of Quinn (March 10) – Since 2014, hundreds of kids have come together at Centennial Lakes in Edina, Minnesota, to play outdoor ice hockey in Quinn’s Cup. The annual event honors the life of Quinn Kirsch, a local 8-year-old boy who died suddenly on January 6, 2013. When Quinn was two years old, doctors detected a hole in his heart. They installed a pacemaker and, for the next six years, Quinn lived the life of a healthy, active child. The day he passed away, Quinn had played hockey all afternoon with his dad. That night, he went into cardiac arrest. But it wasn’t until weeks later that Kyle and Kelly learned what really took their son’s life: viral myocarditis. Quinn’s Cup has partnered with the Myocarditis Foundation to raise awareness of the condition and support research. In 2015, Quinn’s Cup raised enough money to fully fund a research grant in Quinn’s name.
Hannah’s Playground: A Place Where Everyone’s Invited (March 16) – Hannah’s Playground, an all-inclusive play space built in honor of Hannah Berndsen, was designed to give all children — including those with limited mobility — a place to play. When Hannah Berndsen was born in 2004, she was diagnosed with epilepsy, global developmental delays, and cerebral palsy, conditions that limited her ability to walk, talk, sing, and play. After she died in early 2012, her family remembered her by saying “RAP: Run And Play.” Many children are limited by their Hbodies, but, the Berndsens believe, every child and every family should experience the joy of play. Hannah’s Playground provides this opportunity to children, regardless of their challenges and limitations. …What better way to honor the life of a little girl that touched many lives and said so much without saying a word. RAP, Hannah.

Scared Sidless: Turning Helplessness into Helpfulness (March 8) – On October 1, 2012, the Limer family lost their 6-month-old baby boy, Cullin, to SIDS. “Within days of our precious baby boy passing away,” says Cullin’s mom, Ginny, “it was decided that, as a circle of family and friends, we would ‘Turn the Helplessness into Helpfulness!’ and uplift others, even as we were feeling deflated.” Ginny established Scared Sidless, a nonprofit that helps families who have endured the death of a child. Its primary goal is to uplift bereaved families, even if only in a small way, “during a time in which they are literally feeling weighed down.” Part of that work includes hosting an annual Retreat From Grief at Camp Cullin for parents and siblings grieving the death of an infant.
May the Memory of Pauly D Shine a Light (March 8) – June 14, 2014, was a day that changed the DelleGrazie family forever. It was the day that their 4-year-old son, Paulino — affectionately known as Pauly — accidentally drowned in the local swimming pool. Pauly was one of four children to drown in the Chicago area that weekend. His parents, Paul and Gianna DelleGrazie, soon learned that drowning is the leading cause of death for children younger than five. “People are made aware of accidents like choking or other things that happen to babies,” Paul says, “but this is the leading cause.” The DelleGrazies are honoring their son’s memory through the Pauly D Foundation, which aims to increase awareness about the importance of water safety and promote swimming readiness.
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The complete netbook version of Tributes to Lost Children – a snapshot of how 147 families have honored their children who have passed away – is publicly available for FREE. Click on the cover image above to navigate to this powerful, heart-warming compilation of tribute stories.
Based on results of the Tributes Survey, three general motivations anchor bereaved families in their tribute activities. See the organizing Tributes Framework that serves as the backbone of the new book Tributes to Lost Children.
Copyright © 2017 Starshine Galaxy Foundation, All rights reserved.

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