Friends & Family,
personal life. Early in the stay-at-home order, I
As I sit and pen this letter, my mind wanders to
elected to be positive and take full advantage
the past 90 days and all that has taken place.
of the days ahead. As a wife and mother, I have
The unrest in our world on so many levels
loved having Larry and the girls home without
constant interruptions and deadlines to race
from one appointment/commitment
to another. The laughter in the
kitchen while preparing dinner
or baking something special,
conversations that have taken
place over two-hour dinners, or the
after-dinner activities whether it be
a movie, board game or s’mores
by the fire are incredible memories
created before our girls depart for
Culver Academies in August as we
become empty nesters.
Our 2020 Jaxson Scholars, Finleigh and Masai!
is creating such disagreement and division
amongst our family, friends, and neighbors. As
Larry, the girls, and I discuss each evening over
dinner, the unanimous desires have been to
become a stronger family support network to
all of our loved ones.
I have taken the last three months to reflect on
our family network, but more importantly, my
This time has also afforded us
to focus on all of our 16 Jaxson
Scholars and their families. As you
will see from the many stories and
photos in this newsletter, we have
been busy loving and caring for all
that are a part of our expanding
JWAS family. Now, more than
ever, we take stock in the
importance of good health,
healthy relationships, and loving
connection. We wish all of those
things for you and your loved ones during
these very challenging times.
Thank you for being a part of
JWAS. We are incredibly grateful.
Sherry & Larry
For a child lost, a Gift is Given.
The mission of the Jaxson William Augustus Swank Foundation is to perpetuate Jaxson’s
loving memory in providing financial assistance to deserving individuals from preschool
through college and support each recipient in achieving their potential to obtain
scholastic distinction while developing good moral character as a future leader.
What a team and what a fantastic night!
2020 Virtual Wine Tasting
W I T H D A K O T A S H Y
As we reflect on the June 5 virtual wine tasting event,
we are humbled and grateful beyond measure. We
never could have imagined what 2020 was going to
have in store for us at the foundation and for the world
community. To receive so much support and care
during these challenging times fills our hearts more
than we could have ever
imagined. Dakota Shy
sold almost $80,000 in
wine, our only auction
package sold for
$60,000, and collectively
we raised over $275,000
for the foundation. We can not believe how much our
JWAS community came together during the pandemic.
Our hearts are extremely full! Because of you, Jaxson’s
memory will continue to shine on our 16 Jaxson Scholars
and their families. Thank you for your incredible support!
We look forward to when we can all come together in
community in-person. Until then, please stay healthy,
happy, and safe!
The phones were flying off the hook in our call center on June 5!
Todd Newman, founder of Dakota Shy, zooming in from Napa!
Connections JULY 2020
Josiah & Freedom
It is a great blessing and opportunity to
receive this scholarship and be a part of
the JWAS family. With this scholarship, my
children will receive a better education than
I would be able to provide for them on my
own. JWAS has helped my family find out
many different things about ourselves and
others; socially, academically, emotionally
as well as physically. Jaxson has made a
difference in my entire family’s lives by
providing us with the necessary tools needed
for betterment. I appreciate these people for
making this possible for my kids and me.
Thanks so much.
Mother of Jaxson Scholars, Josiah and Freedom
Jaxson Scholars, Josiah and Freedom and their mom sharing their 2020 family
vision board, created at our annual JWAS family retreat.
JWAS FAMILY HIGHLIGHT
The Sterling Group’s Charity of Choice
We are so honored to be selected as Sterling Group’s
Charity of Choice! This effort allows Sterling colleagues
to help support the JWAS mission and families in an
affordable way. With the funds raised from their “Jeans
for JWAS” event, Sterling purchased a taco dinner from
Tampico’s Mexican Grill for
all 16 Jaxson Scholars and
their families. Not only did
they cover the expense,
they hand delivered them
while spreading love and
cheer during one of our
JWAS family car parades!
The kids absolutely loved
seeing 7 cars show up at
their doorstep, just for
them. Thank you, Sterling!
The Sterling Group hand-delivering a delicious dinner!
JWAS FOUNDATION 3
We can’t wait to come together in
person for our annual Wine Dinner in
2021 at The Carriage House Dining
Room and Gardens! We have had such
an outpouring of support and interest
from our many friends in Napa, we have
not selected our vintner partner for this
event yet. Stay tuned!
This event sells out before we have a
chance to send out invitations each
year. To reserve your table or seats,
please contact Jeanie Shuck at jshuck@
We can't wait to celebrate with you on June 11, 2021!
with Bremen Family Martial Arts
Before the pandemic hit, our Jaxson Scholars and
families participated in a self-defense course with Larry
Maxson and his team from
Bremen Family Martial Arts
to empower themselves,
strengthen their selfconfidence,
and have a
lot of fun together along
the way! Even some of the
folks at Sterling joined us to
learn valuable skills. Thank
you to our school-partner,
Our families really enjoyed learning new
skills and letting off some steam! The Stanley Clark School,
for allowing us to host this
valuable program on-site. This adventure-filled day of
learning was a hit and well received by our families.
Photos courtesy of Lynsey Ann Photography.
Our Jaxson Scholars learning the value of self-confidence.
Connections JULY 2020
JWAS LEADERSHIP PROGRAMMING
During the Pandemic
As soon as the pandemic hit,
JWAS moved quickly to assure our
Jaxson Scholars and families were
healthy and safe. While assisting
our families with navigating
employment instability and the
transition to COVID learning from
home, we quickly began to expand
our leadership program offerings in
a virtual format.
During several Zoom sessions
with our Jaxson Scholars and/or
their parents, we were able to stay
connected and continue to focus
on our character as a family unit.
Each family created family values
during the shelter-in-place order,
participated in a few team-building
challenges, and learned valuable
dining manners and how to set a
table, just in time for Mother’s Day!
What family values do you want to show up in
your home every day?
Virtual cooking class with
Board of Trustee member, Josh Swank
Jaxson Scholar, Branton, enjoying learning
how to cook a delicious carbonara dinner
with his dad.
During one of our many JWAS
family car parades we hand
delivered the recipes and
ingredients for an incredible Italian
meal. All 11 families, as well as the
Board of Trustees, connected via
Zoom as Josh Swank taught the
cooking class. Who would have
thought COVID-19 could bring so
many together, maybe not as we
imagined, but in an unique way
that makes us feel like a family
more than ever!
Our oldest Jaxson Scholars, Marilynn and
Jolie, preparing dinner for their family.
Virtual Mindfulness/Yoga Class
with Mindful U LLC
Learning how to center our hearts and mind
during these challenging times.
One of our recent highlights was
offering a virtual yoga/mindfulness
class to our Jaxson Scholars and
their families. It was beautiful to
see everyone learn and practice
skills to help calm our minds and
hearts as we practice navigating our
thoughts in a healthy and positive
way through the pandemic.
Using legos to express our feelings.
PARTNERING SCHOOL HIGHLIGHT
Established in 1958, The Stanley
Clark School is a fully accredited
day school serving students age
three through grade 8. Students
are inspired toward excellence
in academics, arts, athletics, and
character. These four pillars form the
foundation of everything we do.
Beginning in our early childhood
Reggio Emilia classrooms, teachers
foster curiosity through a comfortable
child-centered environment and by
adapting the curriculum to match
the interests of their students. A
deep appreciation and engagement
in the arts continue through foreign
language, music, performing arts and
We take critical thinking and creativity
to the next level in an environment
that nurtures accountability to self
and others. Students discover their
Students at all grade levels enjoy
small class sizes and benefit from the
support of faculty specialized in their
Our student body of close to 350
students represents a wide range
of socio-economic and culturally
diverse backgrounds. Families stem
from seven counties in Indiana
Students graduate as critical thinkers,
researchers, and lifelong learners,
99% of whom enroll in college.
Learn more at www.stanleyclark.org
or follow us at www.facebook.com/
JWAS Family Car Parades
More than ever, we are craving
connection with each other. Even
though we have had to shelterin-place
for several weeks,
we decided to safely spread
some love and cheer to our
Over the last few months, we
have had several car parades
where we deliver games, crafts,
homemade dinners, and treats
for our Jaxson Scholars. It has
been a delight to drive up to
each home, honking our horns,
and seeing their smiling faces.
In light of remembering the
importance of service and
community, especially during
these very challenging times, we
also delivered supplies for our
JWAS families to write letters
to the elderly in our community
who are isolated in a care facility.
We are not sure who has been
enjoying it most but one thing
is certain. A pandemic can
not, and will not, pull us apart.
No matter the path COVID-19 takes over the next several months,
we will continue this tradition of connection, love, and care as
much as we need.
We love our
Board of Trustee, Kristen Swank, and daughter, Taylor
The foundation started with an idea of
giving back to the community in Jaxson’s
name and has quickly turned into so much
more. I remember when the board first got
together to brainstorm what we could do
in his memory to educate others. To look
back at where we were, to what we have
become now with two Jaxson Scholars
in high school this fall, it is unbelievable
and inspiring to be a part of something
that is not only changing the lives of our
Jaxson Scholars, but their 11 families in our
community. Our two children never got to
meet their Uncle Jaxson but as they get
older, they learn more about the JWAS
families. They go to school with them,
become friends with them, and learn how
to serve and give back all at the same
time. It is an honor to be a part of and
witness everything that the foundation has
become and the legacy it is leaving, all in
honor of Jaxson.
JWAS FOUNDATION 7
3900 Edison Lakes Parkway, Suite 201
Mishawaka, IN 46545
PERMIT NO 29
From the Love of One
to the Heart of Many.
A JWAS ANNUAL REPORT
Your financial generosity enables us to
fulfill our mission of providing a topnotch
education for deserving children
in Jaxson’s memory. Together, we
honor an amazing little boy who
made a huge impact on all who knew
him during his short time with us. We
thank you for your support!
100% of all donations are utilized to
educate current and future Jaxson Scholars.
Donate online at www.jwasfoundation.org.
T Partnering School Highlight
T JWAS Family Highlight
T The Sterling Group Partnership
T Wine Dinner
T Leadership Programming
During the Pandemic
T JWAS Board
of Directors Highlight
We are forever
grateful for all of our
2011 - John Caldwell, Caldwell Vineyard & Winery
2013 - Juelle Fisher, Fisher Vineyards
2016 - Nicole & Ryan Hill, Hill Family Estate
2017 - Laura Long & David Long, David Arthur Vineyards
2018 - Dr. Madaiah Revana, Revana Estate Vineyard
2019 - Steve Reynolds, Reynolds Family Winery
2020 - Todd Newman, Dakota Shy