LilySarahGrace Fundraiser @ Milk Studios, Los Angeles (Please Come!)

The following is a guest post by my friend, Elizabeth who is once again co-hosting the 2nd Annual LA LilySarahGrace Fundraiser. I wrote about the fundraiser last year and attended with my family and while I won't be able to make it this year (I'll be in an airplane on my way home from Atlanta), I'm hoping that some of you can attend and will help us get the word out. It's an amazing event and a most important cause. With love to you and yours. - Bec
On Christmas Day 2011, in the midst of our pre-dawn Christmas morning mayhem of two young daughters tearing open gifts, a call came. My husband's voice became quiet, his affect and energy shifted so dramatically my stomach sank. I knew something dark had happened. Trying my best to be cheerful with our girls I heard the name Matt and in a matter of seconds I went through a list of possibilities of horrible things that had happened to our old friend, Matt. Never in my darkest thoughts, did it occur to me it was his children. All three girls, Lily 9 and twins Sarah and Grace 7, had been killed that morning by a tragic fire at their Connecticut home.

My friend Jenny and I turned to each other to try to wrap our heads around this incomprehensible tragedy. Jenny, also an old friend of Matt and Madonna Badger, is my soul sister. As moms Jenny and I wept for Madonna. These girls were our girls. How could we support Matt and Madonna through this incredible and unbearable loss? Believing firmly in the concept of taking village to raise a child, the same is true for grieving them.

With the help of trusted friends, Matt started a foundation to establish a legacy for his girls and a new-found purpose from his old life as a commercial director. The LilySarahGrace Fund supports the arts in underserved, underfunded public schools nationwide. Since these early days in 2012 Matt has distributed over 1 million dollars to schools for Arts-Infused projects to more than 1500 classrooms nationwide, affecting over 130,000 students across the U.S.

LSG has made incredible inroads in the CA area, organizing and financing over 400 classroom projects, and affecting more than 25,000 students in CA alone -making a huge difference in the lives of those students. All proceeds from the LA LSG Craft Fair on May 4 will go directly to schools in California.

The fund provides money directly to teachers for creative project based learning. The arts, our universal language, was the language the Badger girls understood best. They loved the arts and it was through the arts that they found a connection with others and equality. All three were dyslexic and they struggled. Through creative projects in the classroom barriers for learning are lifted, academic lessons become accessible and self esteem thrives. Matt knows there are so many kids out there who never have had an opportunity to express themselves creatively, to be understood and to feel equal. With the cuts in art programs in public schools, he felt this was a need his girls would love and so he has thrown his heart and soul into it.

On May 4 my dear friend Jennifer Levy and I will host The 2nd Annual Los Angeles LilySarahGrace Fund Craft Fair at Milk Studios in Hollywood at 844 Cole Ave .The event will take place from 11 am - 4 pm. It is a celebration of the lives of Lily, Sarah and Grace Badger and an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the children in our lives. There will be live music, dancing, food trucks, laughter, joy and vivacious creativity with 20 craft stations; snow globes, print making, spin art, pom-pom making, knitting, beading, glitter name tags and so much more. Amanda Demme, photographer, will be on hand to take portraits of children as Mother's Day gifts.

Ticket price is $35 per person, children under 2 are free. We will always keep Lily, Sarah and Grace Badger in our hearts and their creative vivacious spirits alive. This event is our living prayer for them and our gift to their parents in their memory. If you are in LA on Sunday, May 4th please come join us!!!! (Tickets are for sale, here.Thanks, everyone!

- Elizabeth -