2020 Annual Report

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From the Love of One

to the Heart of Many.


Dear Friends,

When we reflect on the past year, we are overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. As

the foundation continues to thrive and flourish beyond our expectations, we are continually

reminded of our dear and beloved son, Jaxson, who is the endless source of love and light

for all of us at JWAS. Jaxson has been nothing short of standing beside us, holding our

hands, and guiding us through the most challenging year our JWAS community has ever

experienced. It is because of Jaxson and the loyalty of our supporters that we have been

able to take such good care of our 17 Jaxson Scholars and their families throughout the

pandemic crisis.

As soon as COVID-19 began to turn our

community upside down by closing our

schools, impacting the jobs of our JWAS

parents, and instilling a heavy sense of fear

in all of our Jaxson Scholars, we quickly

shifted gears in every way we could think of

to take care of the emotional well-being of

our JWAS families. Through countless JWAS

car parades where we delivered resources,

love, and support, we began to expand our

leadership programming efforts. We quickly

provided additional learning experiences

that offered the opportunity to connect while

the emotional needs of our Jaxson Scholars and families continued to evolve throughout the

crisis. While 2020 has truly been a year like no other, we are incredibly proud of our approach

in tackling it together, as one JWAS family. We feel more connected to our 17 Jaxson Scholars

and their families than ever before.

While Jaxson provides an endless source of light and love, Jeanie Shuck has provided

so much compassion and passion to our JWAS community the past 12 months and truly

receives all the credit for the deep connections that have been formed. She has spent tireless

hours insuring the Jaxson Scholars and their families are well taken care of. We look forward

to 12 months that don’t include the transition of leadership and a pandemic - oh what we

will accomplish!

In the pages that follow, we take stock in all of the support, blessings, and love that have

been showered upon the JWAS Foundation, our Jaxson Scholars, and their families. Thank

you for making these efforts possible and for being a part of our JWAS family!

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Sherry & Larry Swank

Jaxson Scholars



Age: 15 years old

Hobbies: Singing, knitting,

painting, and drawing

Dream job: Psychologist

Jaxson Scholar since: 2008



Age: 14 years old

Hobbies: Knitting, painting, and reading

Dream job: Veterinarian

Jaxson Scholar since: 2008


8th grade

Age: 13 years old

Hobbies: Drawing, painting,

hanging with friends via Facetime

Dream job: Teacher

Jaxson Scholar since: 2016


7th Grade

Age: 13 years old

Hobbies: Kneading, drawing,

and journaling

Dream job: Lawyer

Jaxson Scholar since: 2016


4th Grade

Age: 10 years old

Hobbies: Learning about horses,

staying active, and drawing

Dream job: Horse Trainer

Jaxson Scholar since: 2019


4th Grade

Age: 10 years old

Hobbies: Watching YouTube videos,

playing games, and being with family

Dream job: Chef or Builder

Jaxson Scholar since: 2016

Jaxson Scholars


4th Grade

Age: 9 years old

Hobbies: Building things with

cardboard, painting, coloring, drawing,

and playing outside in the snow

Dream job: Artist

Jaxson Scholar since: 2017

Kiara Nikol

4th Grade

Age: 9 years old

Hobbies: Painting, drawing, decorating,

cooking, dancing, puzzles, and Legos

Dream job: Scientist and artist

Jaxson Scholar since: 2017


2nd Grade

Age: 7 years old

Hobbies: Collecting and drawing

Pokemon, video games, Legos,

storytime, math, and watching movies

Dream job: Restaurant Boss

Jaxson Scholar since: 2018


2nd Grade

Age: 8 years old

Hobbies: Reading, singing, dancing,

piano, playing with his new dog, creating

YouTube challenges for the family, and

watching Japanese Anime with his Dad

Dream job: Astronaut

Jaxson Scholar since: 2018


1st Grade

Age: 7 years old

Hobbies: Painting, drawing, creating

storybooks, and rock collecting

Dream job: Swim Coach

Jaxson Scholar since: 2016


1st Grade

Age: 7 years old

Hobbies: Martial arts, playing outside,

painting, drawing, and building towers

Dream job: Nurse

Jaxson Scholar since: 2017

We are

Grateful for

Our School


Jaxson Scholars


1st Grade

Age: 6 years old

Hobbies: Gymnastics, playing

with Freddy, and arts and crafts

Dream job: Singer/Dancer/Artist

Jaxson Scholar since: 2019



Age: 6 years old

Hobbies: Legos, video games,

and riding his bike

Dream job: Monster Truck


Jaxson Scholar since: 2018



Age: 5 years old

Hobbies: Swimming, racing,

and riding his bike

Dream job: Superhero (Black Panther)

Jaxson Scholar since: 2020



Age: 5 years old

Hobbies: Baton, swimming at

the beach, art, and soccer

Dream job: Doctor

Jaxson Scholar since: 2020



Age: 5 years old

Hobbies: Playing imaginary friends/

animals with her sister, riding her bike,

playing outside, Legos, coloring, and ballet

Dream job: Veterinarian or Chef

Jaxson Scholar since: 2021

Programming Overview

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, it was a year like no other for our leadership programming. We had to adapt and pivot to a

virtual format for the majority of 2020. Although we were not able to meet in-person, we held several JWAS car parades

in between our virtual programs to deliver the materials and supplies needed while offering the foundation’s resilience,

love, and support throughout this unprecedented year.



• To build confidence and connection in our Jaxson Scholars, their families, and our Board of Trustees

January with

Jaxson Family Retreat

• To be intentional on hosting an annual event to

celebrate Jaxson’s birthday

• To offer the families an opportunity to express their

gratitude for the JWAS foundation and co-founders

• To annually review the JWAS mission as a

JWAS community

• To foster and build relationships amongst the Jaxson

Scholars, parents, and Board of Trustees

• To offer an opportunity for all of the families to reflect

on the past year and set annual goals/intentions as a

family unit for the upcoming year


While coming together to celebrate the birth of Jaxson and

his incredible legacy, we were able to kick off the new year by

building connections, setting family goals, and participating

in engaging and fun team building activities. Through songs,

poems, letters, and presentations, the Jaxson Scholars and

parents had the opportunity to share how the foundation

influences how they make life decisions and who they are

as a person. The retreat had a lasting and heartwarming

impact on all who attended. The Jaxson Scholars enjoyed

the opportunity to spend time together while the parents

and board members learned more about what connects us

rather than what divides us. We concluded with each JWAS

family creating a vision board for 2020.

Family Self-Defense Class

• To enhance the self-confidence of our Jaxson Scholars and

their families

• To empower our Jaxson Scholars and their families to be

strong and resilient

• To learn valuable skills to physically and mentally protect

ourselves and others during challenging times

• To build the relationships amongst the Jaxson Scholars,

JWAS parents, and Board of Trustees

Virtual Cooking Classes

• To enhance culinary skills in our Jaxson Scholars

• To treat our JWAS parents to a meal prepared by their

Jaxson Scholar(s)


• To strengthen the family dynamic of working together on

completing a task


This leadership development program was the last in-person

event we were able to coordinate before COVID-19 impacted our

community. While we all enjoyed our three hours with the team

from Bremen Family Martial Arts, it was motivating and inspiring

to see the Jaxson Scholars and their parents learn valuable skills,

blow off steam, and have a ton of fun together! No matter the age,

this program had a positive impact and assisted with our ability

to manage and handle the pandemic, without us even realizing it

at the time.

After personally delivering ingredients and recipes to each JWAS

family for each class, we hosted two cooking classes, one led by

Board of Trustee, Josh Swank, and the other by co-founder, Sherry Swank. All of our Jaxson Scholars as well as the Board

of Trustees connected via Zoom to join us. Both classes offered a unique opportunity to build the leadership and culinary

skills of our Jaxson Scholars during the pandemic.

Virtual Mindfulness/Yoga Class

• To introduce tools and skills to cultivate calmness and peace

within our Jaxson Scholars

• To build strong leadership skills in maintaining focus and

clarity in times of stress


We partnered with Mindful U, LLC to offer classes for our

Jaxson Scholars and their parents. These programs allowed the

opportunity for everyone to learn and practice skills that help

calm our minds in a healthy and positive way. Focusing on the emotional well-being of our JWAS families has been at the

forefront of our programming efforts this year.

Virtual Family

Leadership Sessions

• To assist the families in creating values and goals during the

COVID-19 pandemic

• To offer opportunities to remain connected during the

COVID-19 pandemic

• To offer support during the COVID-19 pandemic


At the beginning of the pandemic, we were able to connect with our JWAS families for meaningful and purposeful

programming to offer guidance and support. The JWAS families participated in team-building challenges to develop

family values they wanted to show up when all of the schools pivoted to virtual learning. We held Jaxson Scholar Social

Hours and JWAS Parent Coffee Hours. The parent program was led by our JWAS parents, providing and cultivating

leadership opportunities for them to mentor and lead within the foundation. These unique opportunities created much

excitement for the future leadership development of our JWAS parents.

Virtual Leadership Day Camp

• To cultivate and develop leadership skills in each

Jaxson Scholar

• To create leadership and mentoring opportunities for our

oldest Jaxson Scholars


The week kicked off with a JWAS Car Parade delivering all

necessary supplies to complete the activities. We began with a

virtual cooking class, led by co-founders, Sherry & Larry Swank. The Jaxson Scholars practiced their listening and culinary

skills, and treated their parents to a delicious dinner! Leadership lessons were worked on from home throughout the

week, including a lesson our oldest Jaxson Scholars created and instructed through a shared video. The week ended with

a group Zoom to connect and present what we learned.

Financial Overview

All foundation administrative expenses are underwritten by the Swank family.

100% of donations are utilized for the education of our current and future Jaxson Scholars.

Fundraising Giving




In thousands







2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

JWAS Family “Joy” Retreat

• To enhance the leadership skills amongst our Jaxson Scholars

and families by cultivating gratitude and joy in everyday life


During an enriching and fun-filled hour with long time supporter

and dear friend, Micki Kidder, many tips and tricks were shared

on how to cultivate joy in our everyday life. This inspiring program

offered the gifts of learning how to slow down, how to be more

intentional on how we spend our time, and ways to find happiness from within. The timing of this program was perfect as

many of us were feeling the stress and exhaustion of the COVID-19 crisis.

“For Real Skills” Presentation

• To develop and enhance the leadership and professional

skills of our JWAS parents and high school age

Jaxson Scholars


It wasn’t easy to capture the moment of this worthwhile program

via Zoom. However, we wouldn’t trade the opportunity to learn,

grow, and continue to thrive to be the best version of ourselves no

matter the platform. JWAS dear friend and supporter, Steve Perry,

shared his plethora of knowledge on enhancing our soft skills during a job interview and enhancing our resumes during

his “For Real Skills” presentation. This session was super informative, inspiring, and fun all in one.

Endowment and Educational Need





Educational Need

In millions







2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

JWAS Family Service Month

• To instill the value of service and giving back to our

community in our JWAS families


Part of being a Jaxson Scholar means cultivating the spirit of

service from within. As a Jaxson Scholarship recipient, the family

annually commits to giving back to our community. Since we

could not serve together this holiday season due to COVID-19,

our JWAS families volunteered on their own during the month of November. Collectively the families volunteered over

fifty hours towards causes they have a passion for. These collective efforts, which created an incredible force of good in

our community, were one of the many silver linings of the pandemic crisis.

Holiday Family Car Parade

• To celebrate the holiday season and community with our

JWAS families, Board of Trustees, and community partners.


With fifteen cars participating in a car parade and enough holiday

cheer to last a lifetime, Santa and his elves delivered presents and

the presence of Jaxson’s love and light. Each Jaxson Scholar was

sponsored by The Sterling Group of Mishawaka, IN. While visiting the home of every Jaxson Scholar we felt incredibly

grateful for the generosity and care The Sterling Group continues to give the foundation.

Gratitude Parade


This event was coordinated by JWAS parents. Throughout 2020,

the parents continuously expressed how grateful they were for

the foundation’s unwavering support through the COVID-19 crisis.

They organized a JWAS Holiday Car Parade in December for

JWAS co-founders, Larry and Sherry. Sherry got so excited about

the idea that she had cocoa and candies waiting. It was an incredible treat to be on the receiving end of such appreciation.

It was a full circle moment for JWAS as we continue to cultivate a community that gives back and serves others!

Fund Raising Event

2020 Virtual Wine Tasting with Dakota Shy

At the beginning of the pandemic we had to pivot to a virtual platform for our

annual fundraiser in a matter of weeks. Dakota Shy founder, Todd Newman,

was incredibly gracious to transition from sharing his exquisite wines during our

annual Wine Dinner to zooming in from Napa! While hundreds of our supporters

participated in the event from twenty states

across the country, we were able to surpass

our fundraising goal of the evening by over

30%. We can not believe how much our

JWAS community came together to support

our mission during such challenging times.

JWAS Board of Trustees Members

Josh & Danette Swank

Tiffani Swank


Larry & Sherry Swank

Brenda & Lance Swank

Larry & Kristin Swank II

Dear Friends,

As I reflect on my first year in my new role at the foundation, I realize how

often I have jumped out of bed, excited to go to work every day. Despite

the incredible challenges the COVID-19 crisis has put on all of us, I could

not be more invigorated about our mission at JWAS and passionate about

our 17 Jaxson Scholars and their families.

In a year where we have all been asked to contract in every possible way,

the heart of the foundation has only expanded. Thank you for every dollar

you have donated, every text of support, and every like on social media. We

are incredibly fortunate to have so many cheering us on from the sidelines.

Because of you, we were not only successful in meeting our fundraising

goal for the year but exceeding it! At the beginning of the pandemic when

we needed to pivot from an in-person event to a virtual event, you showed up in every possible way for us. For the first

time in the history of the foundation, we also set a lofty goal to raise $100,000 during December. We surpassed that

goal with flying colors thanks to you!

We are forever thankful to you for helping us with this tremendous success during an incredibly challenging year. We are

so proud to call you our JWAS family. May you always feel the light Jaxson graciously shines on all of us.

Go team JWAS! The best is yet to come!

With a grateful heart,

Jeanie Shuck

Executive Director

Strategic Vision:

The JWAS Foundation provides financial support, customized programming, and

services to ensure the success of our Jaxson Scholars and their families from preschool

through four years of university. We inspire others by sharing Jaxson’s story, we treat

our Jaxson Scholars like our very own, and we bring Jaxson’s love and light with us and

all that we do as a foundation. By investing in our Jaxson Scholars’ education and their

social and emotional development, we motivate them to reach their full potential and

become forces of good in the community.


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 to support each recipient in achieving their potential to obtain

scholastic distinction while developing good moral character as a future leader.

For a child lost, a gift is given.

3900 Edison Lakes Parkway, Suite 201

Mishawaka, IN 46545



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