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Leon Sidari Memorial Fund

$68,374 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 780 people in 11 months
Noel is Leon spelled backwards.  

On Christmas morning, our 4-year-old Leon died suddenly from influenza, in spite of the extraordinary efforts of the doctors and medical professionals to save him.

Leon was a magical person.  Whether you knew him for a lifetime, or mere moments trying to help save his life, Leon touched us all.

Christmas was Leon's favorite day, even being so young.  He loved to give presents more than to receive them, something he learned from his parents, Laura and Tony.  When he visted Santa, he made sure Santa knew that his little brother needed his own truck, and his list was only one present long.

Laura and Tony are in the active military, serving their country.  They strongly believe in giving back and infused that spirit in Leon.

To continue Leon's legacy of love, we are establishing a Memorial Fund in Leon's name.  100% of the funds will be given to help children with medical problems at Christmas time to find the same joy that Leon did.  In the first year, this will be focused on children of military parents, but with your help this will grow in the years to come.

Initially the funds will be safeguarded by Leon's Grandpa Lyman, while a new 501 c 3 is created.  All funds will be transferred to this charity as soon as it is created and approved by the government agencies.

Please donate today to keep the Noel in Leon's name.
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Laura shared this today:
As our family enters the first Christmas season without Leon, there is a great deal of sadness and pain mixed with the joy of the holidays. This has been a difficult year for me without my special boy, and I anticipate parts of that pain will be with me always. I want to thank the many family, friends, and extended loved ones who have helped my family and me in this time. There have been big and small acts of love, countless messages, visits, hugs, and calls that have lifted me up these past months.
Leon was such a giving child, and that is a lasting part of his life and my memories. From the many generous gifts to Leon’s nonprofit memorial fund over the last year, myself and the others on the board of directors are finding charitable causes that center on the main mission: helping children with medical problems to find joy at Christmas time. I am excited to share an upcoming community sponsored in Leon’s honor through our hometown’s Orleans Community Health: Breakfast with Santa! The event offers numerous holiday activities particularly featuring snowmen, which were Leon’s favorite. The event has over 200 children in the community signed up and will also provide activities and gifts to help keep kids healthy during the holiday season. I wanted to thank all of you who have made this event possible to share in Leon’s memory.
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We wanted to give you a further update about the progress Leon’s Gift is making.

Boo for the Flu, co-sponsored with Orleans Community Health and the Albion Rotary Club was a great success.

There were games and prizes, and 59 vaccinations were given. https://www.facebook.com/OrleansCommunityHealth/

#flushotsforleon on Facebook has had over 12,000 shares, 8,500 views and 450 comments with many people posting pictures of themselves getting flu shots.

Their story has been shared with a number of widely-read family sites:

https://www.scarymommy.com/mom-flu-shot-son-died/

https://thestir.cafemom.com/parenting_news/215396/healthy-toddler-died-from-flu

This afternoon, Fox News spread the message around the world, reporting on #flushotsforleon and our effort to promote vaccinations and education.

https://www.foxnews.com/health/military-physicians-who-lost-son-4-to-flu-urge-others-to-get-vaccinated

Because of your support, children are being vaccinated and everyone is learning more about the importance of the flu shot. Thank you.
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An update on the early progress of Leon’s Gift. In late August Laura and Tony were transferred, which impacted ideas in Texas due to distance. Two initiatives are under way.

Tomorrow, in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Albion NY and Orleans Community Health, Leon’s Gift will be co-sponsoring a “Say Boo to the Flu” educational and vaccination event at no cost to the children being vaccinated, regardless of insurance status. A picture of a portion of the flyer is attached. It will take place at the Albion Healthcare Center.

Secondly, Laura and Tony have started a Facebook feed to promote vaccination.

Laura wrote:
Last year, Leon was one of 180 children nationally who died from the flu. He was an “old soul” with patience and gentleness beyond his 4 years of age. His smile was infectious, and his love for his brothers inspiring. Like roughly half of the children who die annually, he did not have a history of prior medical problems. His lungs were destroyed by bacterial pneumonia secondary to the flu. He died rapidly, only 2 days after showing general flu symptoms.
As a mother, I wish I had fully appreciated the risk of the flu to my healthy child. I now intimately understand why the medical community overwhelmingly recommends the annual influenza vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months. It has been medically established that the flu shot reduces the risk of influenza-related mortality by 65% for healthy children. Of the children who die annually from flu-related complications, roughly 80% did not have their flu shot that season. It is the best option available to prevent child death due to the flu.
Leon is my reason this season, and every season, for getting flu shots on time. This is the best time of the year to get the shot. Holiday planning and fall festivities can wait, but the flu shot cannot. If Leon or another little person is your reason for getting the flu shot this year, I ask that you consider sharing a family photo and spreading the word so that others may know too.

I want to encourage everyone to get their flu shots, and to post pictures encouraging others to do so as well. ‪#‎flushotsforleon‬
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Earlier today we received notification from the IRS that Leon's Gift was granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status as a public charity.

We will be sending out updated gift acknowledgement letters to donors, but this only works if we have your current email address.

I expect that we will not be able to get to this until the end of July or early August. If you have made a donation but have not received an acknowledgement letter, and need one for documentation on your taxes, please email me in early September and we will address it then.

Once again, thank you for your generosity, thoughts and prayers.
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$68,374 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 780 people in 11 months
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LB
$100
Linda Brisson
15 days ago
AL
$75
Austin Lofgreen
15 days ago
RB
$50
Robert Blank
26 days ago
SG
$10
Susan Gonzalez
1 month ago
$414
Anonymous
1 month ago
MA
$50
Mary Ann Arsenault
1 month ago
NM
$102
Nancy Jo Mulry
2 months ago
EK
$100
Emily Kuo
2 months ago
KM
$10
Kelly Makino
2 months ago
LB
$50
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2 months ago
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