Registration Now Open for 3rd Annual JB-LF 5K & Family Fun Day

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Charitable event to take place on November 18, 2017, in Arlington, VA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT: Jennifer Myers 


ARLINGTON, VA, AUGUST 7, 2017 Registration is now open for the 3rd annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation 5K & Family Fun Day.

This year’s 5K and Family Fun Day — scheduled for Saturday, November 18, 2017, at 9:00am at the Knights of Columbus, 5115 Little Falls Road, Arlington, VA — will include a challenging, certified 5K course open to adults and youth, as well as a Family Fun Day festival complete with a kids’ dash, music, moon bounces, rock climbing walls, obstacles course, delicious food trucks, beer garden, corn hole tournament, face painting, balloon animals and more.

New for 2017, child care is available during the 5K, provided by EverWonder Camps. (Available for potty-trained kids, ages 3 and up. For our younger friends, strollers are welcome on the 5K course in the final wave.)

Proceeds from this charitable event will help provide access to high-quality pediatric and maternal healthcare services for economically vulnerable expectant mothers and their children through our primary beneficiaries: Virginia Hospital Center and Arlington Pediatric Center. Projects funded with proceeds from last year’s event include:

  • Twelve months of wellness care for 240 newborn babies at the Arlington Pediatric Center, making JB-LF the largest donor for newborn care at APC.
  • A telemedicine program for maternal health launched in partnership with Virginia Hospital Center that will help expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies access medical care through the convenience of their smartphone or computer. These virtual appointments will provide close prenatal monitoring to augment in-person clinical visits. JB-LF’s donations support new nursing and care coordination staff in the Outpatient Clinic to manage the maternal health telemedicine program, expand Clinic hours, and provide care to expectant mothers in need.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available; companies or individuals interested in sponsoring the 5K & Family Fun Day can reach out to [email protected].

About the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation Established in honor of Jennifer Lawson, who lost her life in 2014, the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, serves economically vulnerable mothers and infants by working to increase access to high-quality maternal and pediatric health care and support. Jennifer was a loving, dedicated mother of three, driven to advocacy after receiving high-quality care during her own complicated pregnancies. JB-LF seeks to embody her generous spirit by giving all mothers and newborns the means to thrive.

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A parent learns how to live after loss

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neal-and-kids-runningA parent learns how to live after loss
 November 16 at 6:00 AM

On Feb. 24, 2014, 39-year-old mom of three Jennifer Bush-Lawson was hit by a truck that was passing too close to her parked minivan; at the time, she was buckling her toddler into her car seat outside her oldest child’s elementary school in Arlington, Va.This horrific event caused an entire community to catch its collective breath and catalyzed a network of friends, neighbors, family and co-workers who had all been touched by Bush-Lawson’s gentle and generous spirit. But it was her husband, Neal Lawson, suddenly a widower with three young children at the age of 41, who had to shoulder the burden of every family’s nightmare.

jen&kidsFor the past 2½ years, Lawson has been managing his own loss and grief while balancing the emotional needs and daily schedules of his growing children. When I ask Lawson how he’s been able to get through the unthinkable while still being present as a dad without just throwing his hands up and saying I quit, he laughs at my perception. “Sometimes you do just throw your hands up — but not for long.”

From a position of experience and wisdom he’d never hoped to have, Lawson shares his thoughts and advice on dealing with profound loss — whether managing your own grief or helping a friend through a particularly tough time.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help. “It sounds like common sense, but it’s harder to do than you realize,” admits Lawson. In striving to keep a sense of normalcy in his children’s lives, Lawson says he leans heavily on friends and family for everything from sports and birthday party car pools to last-minute child-care favors. And shortly after the accident, Lawson’s parents moved in with him and his children for nearly a year; his in-laws are frequent visitors.

“I can’t do everything,” says the full-time tech entrepreneur and single dad. “Even when there were two of us, we couldn’t do everything.” He prioritizes his kids’ busy schedules by continually asking himself: When do I have to be there? When would it be good to be there? And when is it okay to let someone else help me with that? “You’re actually doing better for the kids by shoring up your support system with friends, family and child care so that they can continue to live as normal a life as possible without a mom. They still need to play sports, have play dates, be reprimanded and be enriched.”

Be practical. In the wake of tragedy, everyone wants to drop off food, but there are many ways to help take daily stresses off a grieving family’s plate. “One family gave us paper goods,” remembers Lawson. “It seemed odd at the time, but we used every bit of it and were thankful when we didn’t have to worry about doing the dishes.”

Sites such as SignUpGenius or SignUp.com (formerly VolunteerSpot) help organize the supporting community and allow people to sign up for things that are most needed: play dates for kids, rides to doctor’s appointments, grocery store runs. A close friend or family member can set up and monitor the activity so that it doesn’t need to be managed by the grieving party. And when friends do drop off meals, consider requesting that they be delivered to a neighbor’s house to avoid awkward invasions of privacy or bad timing.

It’s okay to say no. Not every offer of help is actually helpful. “Everyone wants to help, but people can’t always appreciate other factors that may make their timing less than ideal,” Lawson says, graciously. “Don’t be afraid to turn down an offer if it’s not helpful at that time.” But, he adds, let that person know that you appreciate their offers of help, even if their timing isn’t spot-on.

You can also say “no, thank you” to an offer to help but suggest another way or time in which you might need assistance. For example, maybe you don’t need dinner delivered because your freezer is overflowing with lasagna, but it might really help you to have someone walk your dog while you’re at your kids’ soccer tournament.

Create something good. As a way to honor Jenn’s life and work through his own grieving process, Lawson and his family members founded the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation, which helps economically vulnerable mothers and infants get access to lifesaving pre- and postnatal care.

JB-LFbaby1“This is a matter that was near and dear to Jenn’s heart,” her husband explains. All three of Bush-Lawson’s pregnancies were complicated, and all three of their children were born prematurely. “We had given to organizations that supported those needs in the past, but establishing this foundation in her name was a way to formalize the legacy of her generous spirit.”

This Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, the foundation will host its second annual 5K and family fun day. “This is also a way for the kids to get involved with carrying on their mom’s memory. In the weeks before, we hand out fliers to neighbors on the race route, we put out yard signs, the kids ask to ‘train for Mommy’s race’ with me. It gives them opportunities to ask questions and talk about Mommy, and it’s a positive way to keep her memory alive.”

For the full story, go to the Washington Post at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/11/16/a-parent-learns-how-to-live-after-loss/

 

JENNIFER BUSH-LAWSON FOUNDATION HOSTS 7 ON YOUR SIDE PHONE BANK “HELP FOR NEW AND EXPECTANT MOMS”

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JENNIFER BUSH-LAWSON FOUNDATION HOSTS 7 ON YOUR SIDE PHONE BANK “HELP FOR NEW AND EXPECTANT MOMS”
Arlington – November 3, 2016

The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation (“JB-LF”) was proud to host a phone bank hotline dedicated to helping new and expectant moms on ABC 7 WJLA.  The phone bank was staffed by an expert panel from area hospitals, non-profit organizations, and medical practices.  For two hours, calls were fielded from around the DC metro area.  While phone conversations were confidential, Facebook Live footage from ABC 7 WJLA can be viewed here.

“The JB-LF envisions a community where every new mother and newborn receives the support they need to thrive,” said Neal Lawson, Founder and CEO.  “This phone bank allowed the JB-LF to offer confidential support in our current focus locale of Arlington County and to the broader DC Metro area.  We are grateful to ABC 7 WJLA and host Kimberly Suiters for giving us a platform to help on a large scale.”14980603_1795783473996940_1351982510178740362_n

With years of combined experience and service, JB-LF partners addressed a breadth of concerns from callers regarding post-partum depression, nutrition, breastfeeding, finding insurance, accessing social services, development milestones and more.

“We are humbled by the amazing team of professionals that volunteered their time to answer questions with grace and compassion.  The panel helped make important referrals to concerned mothers and their family members.” said JB-LF Executive Director, Ashley Leonard. “This was a great service to the community.”  The team of professionals included:

Adrienne Griffen
Founder and Executive Director, Postpartum Support Virginia

Andrew Markowski, MD
Emergency Medicine, Suburban Hospital

Bonnie Williams, MSN, RN
Senior Director for Women and Infants, Virginia Hospital Center

Dena Carey, RN
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Virginia Hospital Center

Jyl Elizabeth Pomeroy, RN
Facilitator, New Parents Support & PostPartum Support Groups, Virginia Hospital Center
Manager, Mental Health, Arlington Free Clinic

Karen King, Certified Nurse Midwife
Arlington Women’s Center

Lillian Del Priore, RN
Labor & Delivery, Sibley Memorial Hospital
Instructor, STORK LLC, Provider of Child Birth and Care Classes in the DC Area

Nidhi Rustgi Reva MPH, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Drs. Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin
Founder/Owner, STORK LLC, Provider of Child Birth and Care Classes in the DC Area

Terry Rollo, RN, MSN, PNP
Nurse supervisor, Northern Virginia Pediatrics

About the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation:
Established in December 2014, the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.  Founded in the belief that every mother and every child deserve important healthcare services for a healthy start in life, the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation provides access to medical services, counseling and support for economically vulnerable mothers-to-be, newborn babies and postpartum mothers who don’t have the means or resources to start their journey on solid footing. Jennifer Bush-Lawson dedicated her life to her children and to being the best mother possible. She believed that every mother – regardless of race, color, creed, or economic status – should have an opportunity to do the same.

Fred and Fiona support the JB-LF

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Fred and Fiona support the JB-LF!

Fuzzy blue monsters support JB-LF! We are thrilled to announce that local authors, Renu, Natasha, and Serena Mansukhani are donating a portion of profits from their recently published children’s book to the foundation.

back-coverFred and Fiona: Fuzzy Blue Monsters with Finicky Fur is a silly story, with throwback humor. In their first book, Renu and her daughters introduce readers to twin, friendly, fuzzy monsters with well…finicky fur! What does that mean? They have more fur than they can handle. Find out what happens when they turn their fur trouble into trouble for Mommy. Hilariously illustrated by David Kcenich, this bedtime story is a great read for children and parents alike!

You can purchase on Amazon or other on-line retailers. You can also get more info on Fred and Fiona at www.facebook.com/FuzzyBlueMonsters. If you are in the DMV, and would like an autographed copy at a discount, please e mail [email protected].

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The JB-LF Named As Beneficiary of DCs Dancing Stars Gala

JENNIFER BUSH-LAWSON FOUNDATION NAMED AS BENEFICIARY OF DC’S DANCING STARS GALA

ARLINGTON | August 1, 2016 –

The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation is excited to announce that JB-LF Founder Neal Lawson will be lacing up his dancing shoes to raise money for healthy moms and healthy babies at this year’s DCs Dancing Stars Gala!  If you are as excited to see Neal dance as we are, you can vote for him with your donations by clicking here!

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Always up for a challenge and learning a new skill, Neal will be trying to raise the most money among local corporate executives and community leaders for the chance to dance as a celebrity in the show on November 5th and raise money and awareness for the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation!! The JB-LF is very proud to be a beneficiary of this fun-filled event!

Held this year on November 5th at the Sheraton Tyson’s Hotel, DC’s Dancing Stars Gala is a fundraising event full of all the fun, glitz and glamour of the hit TV show Dancing with the Stars.  Local DC Celebrities and Corporate Challenge winners learn polished choreographed routines and perform with a professional partner at the Gala in a competition mirroring the television show.  A panel of celebrity judges along with the audience selects the winner who will win the coveted mirror ball trophy and $10,000 for the charity of their choice.  The gala includes a VIP cocktail reception, a sit down gourmet dinner, the competition, live and silent auctions, professional performances, and a live band.

GO Neal!!

 

Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation Announces Appointment of First Executive Director

JENNIFER BUSH-LAWSON FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ARLINGTON | October 5, 2015 – The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation (“JB-LF”), a non-profit organization aimed at creating access to quality prenatal and postnatal care for economically vulnerable mothers and babies in Arlington, VA, has announced the appointment of Ashley Donnelly Leonard as its first executive director.  Ashley will be integral in leading the organization’s first major fundraising effort – the inaugural Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation Memorial 5K and Family Fun Day on Saturday, November 21. http://jenniferbushlawsonfoundation.org/programs/5k-memorial

“We are very pleased to welcome Ashley to the JB-LF,” reported Neal Lawson, Founder and Board Chair.  “Ashley will bring leadership, organization and creativity to our fundraising efforts and a deep sense of commitment to our mission.  The addition of professional management to the JB-LF gives us the opportunity to pursue growth and maximize the impact to our mission.”

Ashley has spent the last seven years as a pro bono consultant to Washington area non-profit organizations, providing strategic planning, marketing, board development, and financial advice.  She currently sits on the board of Girls on the Run-DC and has served as their Treasurer.  In addition, her diverse experience includes investment banking, program and general management, new ventures development, event planning, and human capital training, management and acquisition.  Ashley holds a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Darden School of Business.

“I am honored and excited to serve in this new role,” remarks Ashley.  “As a mother of three, I understand and deeply appreciate the necessity of regular, quality prenatal and postnatal care to get families off to the best possible start. The JB-LF’s unique partnership with the Virginia Hospital Center and Arlington Pediatric Center puts the organization in an excellent position to make a significant impact in the early health of Arlington’s economically vulnerable children.”

Established in December 2014, the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.  Founded in the belief that every mother and every child deserve important healthcare services for a healthy start in life, the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation provides access to medical services, counseling and support for economically vulnerable mothers-to-be, newborn babies and postpartum mothers who don’t have the means or resources to start their journey on solid footing. Jennifer Bush-Lawson dedicated her life to her children and to being the best mother possible. She believed that every mother – regardless of race, color, creed, or economic status – should have an opportunity to do the same.

Website:
http://jenniferbushlawsonfoundation.org

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/JenniferBushLawsonFoundation

Contacts:
Neal Lawson
Founder and Chair, Board of Directors
Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation
[email protected]

Ashley Donnelly Leonard
Executive Director
Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation
[email protected]