We are so proud of our team of Boston Marathon runners, each of whom has a unique story full of personal connections to TCR and strong motivations for running. We hope you took some time to read about the other three members of this year’s marathon team: Kerri Conneely, John Fleming, and Deana Hickey. Meanwhile, we are proud to introduce you to the rest of our team: Lauren Ruffing, John Shea, and Cat Steckbeck. Lauren Ruffing We’re thrilled to have Lauren Ruffing on our marathon team once again this year. Lauren, a resident of North Attleboro, is running her second Boston Marathon on behalf of TCR. We are deeply grateful to her for taking on this commitment of time and energy on our behalf for a second time. Lauren’s relationship with TCR began in 2014, when her brother Rich joined the TCR marathon team to run in memory of their mother, Tricia. Lauren ran the marathon for us the following year, and she is once again running in memory of her mother. “I’m running my second Boston Marathon to thank her,” Lauren said. “On any run I want to quit, I remind myself that she never gave up, not once, and she did that for me and for her family.” John Shea John Shea, a resident of Needham, is running his first Boston Marathon to support TCR, but he is no stranger to this challenge—the 2016 Boston Marathon represents John’s thirteenth marathon overall! In addition to running the Boston Marathon six times, he’s also run the Chicago Marathon twice, the New York Marathon three times, and the Marine Corps Marathon once. His running experience and his passion are assets to our team. John’s relationship with TCR began in [...]
We are so proud of our team of Boston Marathon runners, each of whom has a unique story full of personal connections to TCR and strong motivations for running. In order to honor their efforts, we're going to be introducing our team members 3 at a time. We hope you'll check back soon to learn more about Lauren Ruffing, John Shea, and Cat Steckbeck. Meanwhile, we are proud to introduce you to Kerri Conneely, John Fleming, and Deana Hickey. Kerri Conneely Arlington native and resident Kerri Conneely has been a longtime friend and supporter of TCR. Kerri’s husband, Marty, has run the Boston Marathon for TCR, but this year, it’s Kerri who has so generously agreed to be a member of our team. Kerri’s relationship with TCR began in 2005, when Marty decided to run the Boston Marathon to support a local charity. He had received a clean bill of health after two years in treatment for cancer and wanted to give back to the community. The Conneelys were introduced to TCR by local realtor, Steve McKenna, and as soon as they came to our center, Kerri knew that this was their cause. “TCR was a place we knew we wanted to help prosper, to continue their journey for supporting grieving children," said Kerri. “This year I am running this Boston Marathon because I understand that TCR is a crucial resource for families who were not as lucky as we were to survive an encounter with cancer. I am also running in memory of several of my family members and friends who have died,” she said. “I hope to raise $7,500 and a great deal of awareness for this organization and the vital work it does for the children and [...]
We are proud to introduce Christine Lambright, MA, MAAT, as the newest member of our program staff. As TCR’s Youth and Community Outreach Coordinator, Christine helps manage the development of our community-based and youth programming and coordinates and facilitates peer support groups. “It’s absolutely wonderful having Christine on our team,” said Executive Director Donna Smith Sharff. “Her training and experience are helping us to deepen our existing partnerships with organizations such as the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and to enhance and expand our Teen Program.” In her first year, Christine has played an integral role in implementing TCR’s new Teen Program, which dramatically expanded in 2015 thanks to a generous gift from New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft. “With Christine’s help, we have been able to launch our Teen Program with an incredible amount of positive energy,” said Smith Sharff. “We look forward to her ongoing support being a key component of the program’s growth and continued success.” When asked about the Teen Program, Christine smiled. “Grieving teens face unique challenges that require dedicated support,” she said. “I love facilitating that support through TCR programs, activities, and special events that are designed just for them. I love helping teens practice self-reflection, develop relationships with peers who share similar experiences, and learn skills that will help them as they grow and mature.” As a mental health clinician deeply committed to working with families and utilizing the arts, Christine has found her new role to be a natural fit. “For several years I volunteered at Ronald McDonald House in Greenville, North Carolina, and then I volunteered at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, leading weekly arts-based sessions for pediatric patients,” she said. “I see my work [...]
We are extremely proud to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors: Jenny Carlson-Pietraszek, a resident of Dedham, and Pearl Riney, M.D., a resident of Lexington. Jenny currently works as an educator at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham. She has taught and presented on various topics at local, national, and international educational conferences. In 2013, she cofounded the Alliance of White Anti-Racist Educators (AWARE) at Nobles. She also co-chairs the Board Diversity and Inclusiveness Committees at the Tenacre Country Day School, where she has served as a trustee since 2012. Jenny’s relationship with TCR began in 2009, when she and her daughters began attending TCR’s peer support groups. “Members of the club nobody wants to join need a great deal of support,” she said. “I want to do what I can to ensure that families can receive the types of support my daughters and I benefited from when we were living under the dark cloud of grief.” Dr. Riney practices medicine as a general pediatrician at West Cambridge Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and at Mount Auburn Hospital. As a general pediatrician, she regularly hosts medical students so that they can gain primary care experience in her office. She has maintained a teaching role at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston since 2002. Pearl has also served on the boards of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and LexFUN, a family network in Lexington. Pearl first became involved with TCR eight years ago, when she began to refer patients and their families to TCR. “I am looking forward to using my professional network to help expand TCR services to underserved communities and also to raise awareness about TCR in the pediatric [...]
Since 2011, the Arlington Hockey Club has hosted an annual Skate-a-Thon to raise funds for The Children’s Room in connection with our Annual Memories Walk. This fall, the AHC exceeded its $15,000 fundraising goal by raising an impressive $15,152; that brings AHC’s fundraising total to over $55,000 over the past four years. This year’s event had nearly 100 participants from ages 5 to 15 who skated laps for donations. From the high school players to the youngest players who participated, there were smiles and laughter as these young men and women learned the value of being a part of something bigger than themselves and what it means to make a difference in someone’s life. The funds raised by the Skate-a-Thon will enable TCR to enhance and expand grief support services, including its newest program, designed exclusively to meet the needs of grieving teens. The TCR Teen Program received its initial funding through a major gift from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. To read an Arlington Advocate article about the Skate-a-Thon, please click here. We also invite you to sign up for our email updates, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter to learn more about our work.
What is #GivingTuesday? We have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Now there is a global day dedicated to giving back: #GivingTuesday. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. How can I help The Children’s Room on December 1? Donate We need your help! The Children’s Room relies on donations from individuals and foundations in order to serve our families. By asking friends of TCR to spread the word about #GivingTuesday, we hope to gain even more supporters who will help sustain and strengthen our programs for grieving children, teens, and families. Please consider donating to The Children’s Room on #GivingTuesday and telling your friends and family why you give back. Donate Support Us On Social Media Join us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us why you support TCR. Posting about your donation on social media will help others learn about the services available at TCR – and you might inspire others to give back, too! Take a photo of yourself with one of these signs and share it with your friends and followers. Just click below to download a sign and take your #unselfie! “I give because…” “I give to support grieving children and teens because…” “I’m giving in memory of” “I’m giving in honor of” Don't forget to tag us! Adults can feel free to show their faces, but we ask that children in photos remain anonymous. One idea would be for an adult to take a photo of just the child’s hands holding their sign. Tell your friends and family about The Children’s Room and the need for grief support for children and families. [...]
The holiday season can be an especially tough time for those who are grieving. We are all triggered in our losses at different times for different reasons, and this time of year can bring back so many memories. With so many traditions and expectations surrounding the holiday season, the loss of an important person in your life may be felt even more intensely. As our calendars fill up with activities and gatherings, it’s important to give ourselves permission to do what feels right for ourselves and our families. While it’s good to make plans for coping during the holidays, we also need to remember to be flexible and take care of ourselves. Grief is unique for every individual, and you are the expert on your own grief and what feels right for you. Here are some tips on how you can help take care of yourself and those close to you during the holidays. We hope you find them helpful! Acknowledge that the holidays will be different this year Different holiday activities, decorations, and foods may remind you of the person who died and how things will be different without them. Acknowledging your feelings about the holidays can give you and your family a chance to think about certain events or days that might be more difficult for you, and to discuss how you can best support each other. Plan ahead The anticipation of the day may be more difficult than the day itself. Having a plan ahead of time can help ease some of the anxiety and fear of the unknown. Talk with close family and friends and let them know what you might want or need. Be sure to include the children in your [...]