The Memorial Foundation February Newsletter

Announcing 2019 allocation awards!  The Memorial Foundation Allocations Committee is comprised of Foundation Board members, community members and Foundation staff. The committee was instrumental in reviewing, analyzing and making recommendations on program allocations to The Memorial Foundation Board for approval. This year the Foundation received grant requests of over $3.34 million, and the Board of Trustees approved grant funding totaling over $2.46 million to programs throughout Virginia Mason Memorial.

It’s through your generosity that together we support life-changing and life-saving services and programs right here in our community. We continue to work hard to raise the funding needed to continue these vital programs, and with your support, we believe we can.

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YouthWorks Restaurant Takeovers

As part of the annual YouthWorks Pageants, students from area high schools will be taking over area restaurants beginning Jan. 22 as they compete for titles in this year’s pageants. The candidates will be waiting tables to raise awareness and money for children’s healthcare needs in our community at Virginia Mason Memorial and Children’s Village.

Schools competing this year are: Eisenhower, Davis, West Valley, Naches, Sunnyside, Wapato and East Valley!

The schedule for the restaurant takeovers is:

Jan. 22: Mr. Davis at Provisions, 5- 8 p.m.
Feb. 1:  Mr. West Valley at Zesta Cucina, 5-8 p.m.
Feb. 5:  Mr. Naches at Zesta Cucina, 5-8 p.m.
Feb. 8:  Mr. Ike at Zesta Cucina, 5-8 p.m.
Feb. 12: Mr. Sunnyside at the Sunnyside McDonalds, 4:30-7 p.m.

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November 2018 Sibshop

On November 8, 2018, Children’s Village’s Sibshop was bustling with children ages six to twelve, who were all excited about the commencement of the holiday season.  Sibshops is an event for the brothers and sisters of the children with special needs who come through the Village’s doors.  During this event, the children are given a chance to talk with other sibs, sharing their feelings, and also have fun!


The children started out coloring and conversing with the mentors at their table.  Mentors are teenage graduates of Sibshops who come back as volunteers.  The mentors showed great interest in what the children were telling them, whether it be showing off their knowledge of the alphabet or feeling sad that their coloring page didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to.  The mentors would encourage the latter and help them fix their pages if asked.

During the activity, the children made wreaths with leaves on them, telling what the child was thankful for.  Many interesting and creative ones were shared; Experiences, memes, wi-fi, broccoli, and bubbles, to name a few.  Some children needed some help finishing their wreaths in time, so their mentors helped them.


After dinner, the staff held a meeting for the children to share about their siblings with special needs.  Many of the children shared about their siblings; when they did, they shared about their siblings’ needs, but they also shared about their siblings’ favorite foods, favorite television shows, and other facts about them not pertaining to their siblings needs.  One girl, when talking about her sister with Down syndrome, mostly shared about how funny and amazing her sister was.

This experience demonstrated not only the hearts of the staff but also the hearts of the siblings of children with special needs.  The staff showed enthusiasm and investment in the children’s feelings at the beginning of the Sibshop in talking with them as well as patience with the children during the activities in helping them with their wreaths.  For the children’s parts, they showed kindness and love in describing their siblings.  They acknowledged that though their siblings had special needs, they were still their siblings and still children who liked many of the same things that they did.

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Specially designed media cart donated!

A grateful thank you to Casey Jones of Docent Design LLC for donating a media cart for Virginia Mason Memorial’s Pediatric Unit.  This specially designed and manufactured media cart will be used in conjunction with the SimBaby manikin to provide valuable education and training for nursing, ancillary, and medical staff.

The media cart will enhance training by providing all the tools in one place for the pediatrics team to provide ongoing training for the medical team to enhance learning and relearning of best practices for best outcomes for pediatric patients.

Thank you Casey Jones and Docent Design for manufacturing and donating this innovative, state of art media cart!

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Where would we be without Children’s Village?

“We learned about Children’s Village when Shealyn was one month old.  She was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome, a spectrum disorder involving many medical issues.

When we left the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, all of the Children’s Village’s services were set in place for us.  A dietitian helped with weight checks, nutrition, and calculated calories.  A speech and feeding therapist helped with the feeding difficulties.  We also had an occupational therapist to help with low muscle tone and reaching development milestones.

As things progressed we’ve had different challenges along the way.  Shealyn developed scoliosis and had to be in a brace for a little over a year.  When she turned 2, she started speech therapy and hippo therapy, which is horseback riding, to help strengthen her core muscles.  We did this for a little over a year and her spine has straightened out.  She is stronger and brace-free now.

I can’t imagine where we would be today without Children’s Village and its services.  With a new diagnosis and the grieving process that goes with that, there is no way that we could’ve managed to get everything set up and to obtain all the care that was needed.  Without their help, Shea may not be doing as well as she is right now.  Our family coordinator took care of everything and helped set up all of the services and specialists we needed.  We’re very fortunate to have a place like Children’s Village here in Yakima.

In our personal journey with PWS we have been very lucky; it is a spectrum and we have been on the higher functioning side so far.  We constantly push Shealyn and treat her no different than any other child. Even with all these things going on with Shealyn, everything is really good right now and we are on cruise control, in our new way of normal. We do have lots of hope.  Hope for a medication that will help with hunger.  Hope that someday she can attend college if she would like to.  Hope that someday she may be able to live independently and have a job.”

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Preparing for the future

Thanks to generous community support, Five Wishes Training is offered every first Wednesday of the month from noon to 1pm in the Virginia Mason Memorial auditorium.

You have an opportunity to give your loved ones a tremendous gift of peace of mind, so that during a health crisis they can focus on caring for you and not worrying about making the wrong decisions on your behalf.  Here are a few of the questions advance directives help you with:

  • Who would you want to make decisions for you when and if you are unable to?
  • What sort of medical treatment would you want…or not want?
  • How comfortable do you want to be? If there comes a time to decide whether you would want to be awake or would prefer to be comfortable-would your loved ones know which is important you?
  • How do you want people to treat you if you are unable to explain yourself to them?
  • What do you want your loved ones to know?

If you’d like more information, come to one of the monthly educational opportunities on advance care planning and how you can prepare yourself and/or your loved ones for the future.

For further information about Five Wishes, please contact Laurie Jackson at 575-8035 or

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A legacy of caring

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.  Faye Martin, longtime supporter of The Memorial Foundation, passed away in June, surrounded by love. We were humbled and touched to learn she left a generous bequest to help sustain patient support programs at North Star Lodge.  Mrs. Martin’s gift will provide additional funding for years to come, assuring support for programs such as nutritional supplements, emergency assistance, pharmacy aid and, dietary counseling, and even snacks for infusion patients putting in long, hard days of treatment at North Star Lodge.

Mrs. Martin’s gift is greatly appreciated.  Her bequest leaves a legacy of caring that will help local cancer patients in their journey to wellness.

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Children’s Village 4th Annual Buddy Walk – October 13

Children’s Village 4th Annual Buddy Walk – October 13











An invitation from Melia…. Peach’s mom!

Come out to the Buddy Walk and support family, friends and loved ones with Down syndrome.  This is a great way to get our community together to celebrate differences!  People with Down syndrome have beautiful spirits, personalities and are full of love! They are really just like everyone else. Our community needs more unconditional love and that is exactly what people with Down syndrome (and other disabilities!) emanate.  Come to join in the fun!!!

~Melia is proud mom to Peach and Coral.  Peach is 3 years old and has Down syndrome.  She is a compassionate, warm little girl with lots of spunk, a dash of sass and a whole lot of energy!

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Pedaling for Parkinson’s

A First-hand Perspective, by Keith Fowler

As a person with Parkinson’s, I know first-hand when trying to exercise by myself that the problems are many, including fatigue, being alone, no competition, and many things that provide distractions.  I have heard people say, (and I am one), they bought a bike, elliptical or whatever exercise equipment and use it for a couple of weeks and then it becomes an expensive clothes hanger.

Through a partnership with the Yakima YMCA, Virginia Mason Memorial, and The Memorial Foundation, the first 12-week exercise program specifically for Parkinson’s patients began in late May at the YMCA.

With the Pedaling for Parkinson’s program, we are able to meet people with the same problems that we can talk to.  People are there to motivate us to do better, we get a sense of competition and gain a better mental outlook. The class is social in nature, which helps – the social aspect of getting together is important.  Besides all that…I feel better!

I see great potential through Pedaling for Parkinson’s and hope more people will participate and benefit, as I have.  It’s a progressive disease; there is no cure.  This program gives you a chance to make some progress.

Join us!  Program coordinators are looking for more participants for the next free 12-week series of Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes.  Sessions are at 9 am Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Yakima YMCA, 5 N Naches Ave.  Questions?  Call Roxann Johnson at the YMCA, 509-248-1202.

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Subaru Loves to Care!

Subaru Image

Through the Subaru Loves to Care initiative, Stewart Subaru of Yakima recently donated 60 blankets for the comfort and care of patients at North Star Lodge Cancer Care Center.  This Subaru program is a partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to spread hope, love and warmth to those fighting cancer.

For the third year in a row, Stewart Subaru participated in this program donating 170 blankets to date for patients at North Star Lodge!

Thank you Stewart Subaru and the Subaru Loves to Care program!


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