JWAS 2020 Summer Newsletter



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.

JULY 2020

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


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.


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!


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@


June 11


We can't wait to celebrate with you on June 11, 2021!

Self-defense class

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


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.




The Stanley

Clark School

Established in 1958, The Stanley

Clark School is a fully accredited

independent, co-educational

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

the sciences.

We take critical thinking and creativity

to the next level in an environment

that nurtures accountability to self

and others. Students discover their


strengths and

passions, are


to develop

those gifts.

Students at all grade levels enjoy

small class sizes and benefit from the

support of faculty specialized in their

subject areas.

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

and Michigan.

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

JWAS families.

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.



JULY 2020

We love our



Board of Trustee, Kristen Swank, and daughter, Taylor

Kristen Swank

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.




3900 Edison Lakes Parkway, Suite 201

Mishawaka, IN 46545






Thank you!


From the Love of One

to the Heart of Many.


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.


Inside this

T Partnering School Highlight

T JWAS Family Highlight

T The Sterling Group Partnership

T Wine Dinner

2021 Announcement

T Leadership Programming

During the Pandemic

T JWAS Board

of Directors Highlight

We are forever

grateful for all of our

Vintner Partnerships!

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



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