Sweet-16 party marks 10-year anniversary
By Anthonette Klinkerman
As it sometimes goes for reporters, a story touches you more than others and you wonder what happened in the years since. Imagine my delight when asked to cover this follow-up story about Tammy Krause, founder of Bags Of Fun. Time flies when you are providing backpacks full of fun diversions for hospitalized children, it seems. The foundation will be celebrating a major anniversary this year.
While undergoing chemotherapy treatment on her sixth birthday, Krause’s daughter, Gabby, decided she did not want presents for herself. Rather, she wanted gifts for all the other kids undergoing lengthy and difficult treatments, and Bags of Fun was born. Children at the Ronald McDonald House and at Brent’s Place received the presents, and have been receiving gifts from Bags of Fun ever since.
Treatments bought Gabby more time on earth with her family, but sadly, she passed away in September of 2004. March 3 of this year would have been Gabby’s 16th birthday. A fundraising campaign for Children’s Hospital, in conjunction with radio station 105.9 ALICE and 9NEWS’s Kyle Dyer, who is a personal friend of Tammy Krause, helped collect and distribute these lovingly-assembled goodie bags.
This year, one hundred presents were delivered to both The Ronald McDonald House and Brent’s Place, including new toys, Pillow Pets, and other delights from generous donors and donations from Razzle Toys. Razzle Toys has been contributing for four years now, and Krause says she doesn’t know what she would do without the toy store’s partnership.
The organization’s biggest fundraiser, titled “Bring Out the Bags,” will be held at Wings Over the Rockies in Lowry on September 27 to coincide with Bags of Fun’s ten-year anniversary. There is further information regarding other fundraising opportunities, including swim-a-thons as a favorite for neighborhood pools at www.bagsoffun.org.
Krause stated, “I love putting pictures and thank you notes from these events on our website and Facebook page.” Just one example includes this letter from Anne and Justin Webster reading, “As the parents of a two-time cancer patient, we’ve seen first-hand the difficulties of long days and nights in the hospital. Fun activities and distractions are so important. What a wonderful gift that bag was for our daughter!… We have supported and will continue to support the foundation and Gabby’s wish that every child have their own bags of fun. We believe in Gabby’s wish not just for the support of our daughter, but for the support her wish has provided and will provide to countless others.”
The Krause family, consisting of mom and dad and five children now resides in Parker, but they appreciate all the connections and friends they still have in Castle Pines.