Issue 16-104 — July 9, 2016
Starshine Galaxy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to 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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She Had a Smile That Could Light Up the Room (July 8) – Five years ago today, Emma Mebane passed away in her sleep. She was just 19 years old, and her death was sudden and totally unexpected – she was healthy, young, and living a full life. This page, Tributes to Lost Children, exists because of Emma. ‘Meet Emma’ was one of the first tributes that Emma’s dad, Rod, created in her honor.
Tell Stories – And Keep Telling Stories – About Your Children (July 7) – One of the ties that binds virtually all bereaved parents is the fear that others will forget their child with the passage of time. Organizing foundations, raising awareness, supporting research and improving legislation – bereaved parents have engaged in all of these activities, and many more. What makes each of them so powerful – and as unique as the child they honor – is the one thing that each of them have in common: stories. Telling stories about a child who is gone too soon may be the simplest, truest tribute any parent can make.
Ribbons for Kate (July 3) – After 7-year-old Kate Babich died suddenly while attending cheerleading camp this past week, residents of Park Ridge, IL, the town where she lived, ‘painted the town purple’ by tying purple ribbons to trees, porches, fences, signs and storefronts. Purple was Kate’s favorite color.
His Future Was Full of Hopes and Dreams (June 27) – After his death at the age of 24 from a rare blood disease and a medical error, Tony’s parents, Anne and Jeff Cascaldo, started the Tony Brown Foundation to help others deal with devastating loss and find hope again. The organization is, first and foremost, “a tribute to a life well-lived.” They also want other bereaved parents to know that “everyone can live a fulfilled life with purpose after suffering a loss [by] finding… their passion in this world.”
This Is ‘a Jim Kind of Gift’ – Help Where It’s Most Needed (June 28) – Barbara Allen and her husband, Thomas, started James’ Place Inc., after her son, Jim, died from an accidental overdose. The foundation offers financial scholarships for recovery services for people battling the disease of addiction. It’s “a Jim kind of gift,” says Barbara, “help where it is most needed: no glitz, no hogwash – just hope, respect and compassion.”
Brian’s Butterflies (July 1) – Brian was just 19, “with so much life still in front of him,” when he died. Afterward, when Brian’s family took a bittersweet vacation to a place they’d all been to together in the past, they planned to leave rocks with his name on them in different places. What they didn’t expect was that Brian would send them a few butterflies to keep them company along the way.
I Don’t Want to Feel Like We’ve Ever Forgotten About Her (July 5) – Keri and Larry Volmert’s daughter, Sammie, was 17 months old when she died of hyperthermia as she slept in her crib. The upstairs heater had malfunctioned, sending the temperature in her nursery soaring to well above 100 degrees; the thermostat was set at 72. “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Larry said. “We did everything we knew to keep our daughter safe.” Sammie’s parents want to raise awareness about this issue and how it can be prevented. Keri says, “we want others to hear Sammie’s story so that children can be protected.”
Together, We Light the Darkness (June 30) – Lee and Laurie Maxwell don’t want young people to suffer with depression in silence. Their son, Dan, had gone through such an experience, and it ended in tragedy – after a year and a half of unrelenting emotional pain, Dan took his own life. Dan’s Family created the DMAX Foundation “to inspire communities to support and embrace those in need, so that no one will have to bear such pain, confusion and uncertainty in isolation again.”
My Son’s Death Has Opened Me Up to Help So Many Others (June 29) – Three years after her son, Cameron, ended his life, Carolyn Zahnow started a support group to help others who’ve lost loved ones to suicide. But Carolyn wanted to do even more to honor her son’s life, so she founded The Shore Grief Center, a non-profit organization designed to help “save other kids, teens, and adults from allowing their grief … to develop into major depression, substance abuse, self-abuse or possible suicide.”
You Will Not Be Forgotten, You Will Not Be Forgotten, You Will Not Be Forgotten (July 6) – In 2005, Cheryl Haggard and Sandy Puc' founded the nonprofit organization, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS), which trains and mobilizes professional quality photographers to provide beautiful heirloom portraits to families facing the untimely death of an infant. Since its inception, NILMDTS has provided thousands of families of babies who are stillborn or are at risk of dying as newborns with free professional portraits with their baby.
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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 © 2016 Starshine Galaxy Foundation, All rights reserved.

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