A Virginia man who lost his wife in a tragic crash in 2014 is turning a cause that was near to her heart into a life-giving legacy.
Photo credit: MClements Photography
Photo credit: MClements Photography
By Times Staff | Nov 13, 2018
On Nov. 10, the fifth annual DC’s Dancing Stars Gala netted more than $250,000 for local charities, bringing the event’s 5-year total to $1.3 million. The event was hosted by co-founders and co-chairs Maria Coakley David and Jim David at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner and featured seven local Celebrities, four Corporate Challenge Dancers and one Alumni Dancer who have spent the past several months training for Saturday night’s performance. The winner of the Mirror Ball Trophy and $10,000 for her charity was Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University who raised more than $55,000 in cash and sponsorships. Her $10,000 winnings will go to the new Majella Berg Internship fund to help Marymount students who take on valuable unpaid Internships.
Director of Preconstruction Services at Branch & Associates and Chair of Associated Builders and Contractors, George Nash was the runner-up winning $5,000 for his charity, Youth for Tomorrow. Chris Farley, Owner of Pacers Running, was the winner of the Corporate Challenge, winning $10,000 for the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation. The Corporate Challenge winner was determined in the same way as the overall winner: 60% Judges Scores and 40% Funds Raised. Farley raised over $60,000 in cash and in sponsorships. …
Nov. 17, 2017
By Stacy Rausch | Catholic Herald Producation Coordinator
Good things can sometimes come from tragedy.
Jennifer Bush-Lawson lost her life in 2014 after spending the morning volunteering at Nottingham Elementary School in Arlington. She was struck and killed by a passing dump truck while putting her daughter in her car seat.
It’s great how the community comes together to support the neighborhood and Neal. It’s a way to keep in touch and support one another. ~ Courtney Portner
Neal Lawson, Jennifer’s husband, has devoted himself to honoring his wife’s memory through the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation (JB-LF), launched in 2015 on the anniversary of her death.
The foundation provides funding for medical care for pregnant women and their children through the first year of life. Being able to help women receive quality healthcare — especially for high-risk pregnancies — is important to the family since the Lawson’s three children were born prematurely, and Jennifer struggled with difficult pregnancies.
One of the ways the foundation is funded is through an annual 5K race and family fun day, now in its third year. This year’s race raised more than $100,000. The Nov. 18 5K race started and finished at the Edward Douglass White Knights of Columbus council home in Arlington. The Knights donated the use of the grounds for the event that drew more than 450 racers ranging in age from 7 to 69. Many families bundled up for the chilly fall day race while pushing babies and toddlers in strollers.
The activities included face painting, moon bounces, food trucks, silent auction and live music.
The foundation’s mission “is to serve economically vulnerable mothers and infants by improving access to high-quality maternal and pediatric healthcare and support.” The JB-LF partners with the Virginia Hospital Center outpatient clinic and the Arlington Pediatric Center to carry out this vision.
Michele Werner, director of development at the Virginia Hospital Center said, “The best thing about working with the JB-LF is how innovative and forward thinking they are to help solve problems for patients, and they care about the population of expectant mothers and children.”
High-risk pregnancies include many doctors’ visits, which can become untenable for many women, especially those with lower incomes or the uninsured. Through the JB-FL, infants receive access to well child medical care, acute care, specialty care, developmental assessments, and pack and plays for a safe place to sleep. Mothers are getting crucial pre-natal care, ultrasounds, and help monitoring their pregnancies through support such as telemedicine, a smartphone app that allows them to check in with a doctor from work or home. This free service has decreased greatly the number of missed appointments.
Courtney Portner, a parishioner of St. Agnes Church in Arlington and friend of the Lawson family, has volunteered at the event for three years. “The race was not only about raising funds,” she said. “It’s great how the community comes together to support the neighborhood and Neal. It’s a way to keep in touch and support one another.”
“The sense of community and giving back is especially important for the kids,” she added. “It was great to see all ages come out, whether they were running or not, to raise money for a great cause.”
By Gregg MacDonald/Fairfax County Times | Nov 17, 2017
On Nov. 11, the fourth annual DC’s Dancing Stars Gala in Tysons netted more than $300,000 for local charities, and it was done with the utmost of style.
The event was hosted by co-chairs Maria Coakley David and Jim David at the Sheraton Tyson’s Corner and featured nine local celebrities including Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (the real one, not the Melissa McCarthy version) and four ‘Corporate Challenge Dancers’ who spent the past several months training for the gala performance. Local businesswoman Lola Reinsch took first prize, raising more than $50,000 in cash and sponsorships from more than 100 donors.
Spicer served on the judge’s panel, where he was by far the harshest critic of the trio, which also included Chelsie Hightower from TV’s Dancing With The Stars and Washington Ballet Artistic Director Julie Kent.
President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors Michael D. Bellaman was the runner-up winning $5,000 for the Morgan Amelia Foundation. Caroline Coakley, Director at Beautycounter, was the winner of the Corporate Challenge, and will direct her $10,000 prize money to the Raymond A. Wood Foundation. The Corporate Challenge winner was determined in the same way as the overall winner: 60 percent judges scores and 40 percent funds raised. Coakley raised over $60,000 and had one of the top scoring performances.
“We’re thrilled to have hosted another successful and fun evening for our local charities,” said Maria Coakley David, CEO of C.J. Coakley Co., Inc. and co-chair of DCs Dancing Stars Gala. “I’m so proud of all of our dancers, who rehearsed tirelessly and gave it their all. My husband Jim and I are avid dancers, and we’re so pleased to share our love of dancing with others as we change lives one dance step at a time.”
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made his debut at the judges table and he kept the crowd laughing! He was joined by Chelsie Hightower, best known as a dancer, partner, trainer and choreographer for ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, and Washington Ballet Director Julie Kent. Emceeing the event were Larry Miller of WUSA9 and former Washington Redskin Charles Mann.
Local charities were beneficiaries of the event, such as: The DC Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation and Student Scholarships to attend Marymount University.
by Chris Teale November 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm
A 5K race and festival in memory of an Arlington mom killed by a passing truck while placing her children in a minivan will be held for the third time on Saturday.
The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race begins at 9 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). It will feature a 5K race, a kids’ fun run with Teddy, one of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents, and a “Family Fun Day Festival.”
The family festival will live feature music from local band Gutterball Kingpin, as well as moon bounces, a rock climbing wall, obstacle course, in-line jumper, human hungry hippo, food trucks, a beer garden, corn hole, face painting, balloon animals and more.
The event benefits the Arlington Pediatric Center and the Virginia Hospital Center Outpatient Obstetrics Clinic, with a focus on prenatal and postnatal health services for underprivileged mothers and babies.
Police will close several roads to accommodate the event. Per the Arlington County Police Department:
The 3rd Annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday, November 18, 2017. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM to accommodate this event:
Little Falls Road: N. George Mason Drive to Yorktown Blvd.
Yorktown Blvd.: N. George Mason Drive to Williamsburg Blvd.
Williamsburg Blvd.: Yorktown Blvd. to N. Emerson Street
33rd Street: N. Emerson Street to N. George Mason Drive
George Mason Drive: N. 33rd Street to Yorktown Blvd.
Smaller closures exist within the race area
Full story on ArlNow.com: https://www.arlnow.com/2017/11/16/jennifer-bush-lawson-foundation-5k-family-fun-day-set-for-saturday/
Episode 127 – An Episode of Tangents (Neal Lawson and Jennifer Myers)
Jump ahead to minute 12:39 to hear Neal Lawson, founder and CEO of the Jennifer Bush Lawson Foundation, talk about his running background, the Jennifer Bush Lawson Foundation, Jennifer’s story and how the foundation honors her memory. Executive Director Jennifer Myers joins him at minute 22:37 to talk about the 5K & Family Fun Day, and some of the families that have been helped by the foundation.
More at Pacers Running: https://www.runpacers.com/podcast/episodes/episode-127-episode-of-tangents/
India Hicks Truck Show coming to Pursuing Vintage on Wednesday
by Sally Cole, Falls Church News-Press
October 20, 2017
Pursuing Vintage is hosting an India Hicks truck show and sale to benefit the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation on Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 6 – 9 p.m. Refreshments will be offered and 15 percent of proceeds will benefit the foundation. Those unable to attend the event can still shop online to benefit JB-LF until Oct. 31. To shop online at Pursuing Vintage, visit pursuingvintage.com and mention JB-LF at checkout. To shop India Hicks online, visit indiahicks.com/event/jb-lf-2017/shopping. Pursuing Vintage is located at 260 W. Broad Street in space attached to Zoya’s Atelier. For more information about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the benefiting foundation, visit jenniferbushlawsonfoundation.org.