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Monday, August 6, 2012

Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation 5K Run

Friends and family – hope you are all well.  Unbelievably, today is the two month anniversary of our Oakes passing away.  We are doing “okay” I guess, but we have our moments where the emotions are overwhelming.  We just miss that little turkey so much and we still cannot believe he is gone.  If we hear the right song or see the right picture or think the right thought, we immediately turn into a big sobbing mess.  For instance, today, I noticed that Becky had his little helmet in our closet.  It was the helmet he wore for months to help re-shape his head because of all of the time he spent in bed.  It was chilling to hold that little helmet in my hands and know there is no Oakesie to put it on.  The emotions were just gushing from that helmet.  I could see his cute little face and chubby cheeks squeezed into the helmet and his wispy hair sticking up through the top.  Yes, we miss him.  Life goes on and his legacy remains….which leads me to this email. 


Our friends, the Weckherlin Family and Gabris Family have organized a 5k to raise money for the foundation.  I am, somehow, someway going to run in it.  But we need your help on two fronts.  First, we need RUNNERS.  Second, we need SPONSORS.  Please read the sweet letter they put together and if you can’t run, come on our and walk with us and please forward to anyone who might be interested. I have attached the Registration Form and the Sponsor Letter.  We hope to see all of your healthy selves there!  We appreciate any help you can give us as we strive to keep momentum with the foundation.  Thank you and we love you all!



Dear Friend,


Oakes Lee Ortyl, the inspiration and driving force behind the Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation (MOHF), passed to Heaven on the evening of June 6, 2012. While he is no longer physically here, his strength, courage and passionate love are alive and well, in the form of the foundation named in his honor.


The mission of the MOHF is to financially assist families dealing with the crushing reality of congenital heart defects. In addition, funds also allow the foundation to express gratitude to the medical staff working in the CICU at St. Louis Children's Hospital and to remain connected to the important work they are doing in our community.


This fall, the foundation will be sponsoring a very special and important event. On Saturday, Oct. 6, there will be a 5K race held in Wildwood, MO. We are pulling our team together to create a fun, family event and to honor Oakes, as well as the many others who have been impacted by congenital heart defects. The Ortyl family was gracious enough to share the huge lessons they learned from Oakes: we are all connected, and taking care of each other is what life is all about.


We are asking you to consider getting involved with this event by making a monetary donation to the MOHF. The team of organizers hopes to bring out loads of people for a day of stretching, deep breaths, and heart pumping exercise. Promoting heart and lung health is a natural fit for MOHF, and our hope is to raise a substantial amount of money that will better enable the MOHF to spread its vision and purpose and carry out its mission.


As an established 501(c)(3) organization, your donation is 100% tax deductible. Any amount you are to give will graciously be accepted, but the following perks will be given to those sponsoring at the corporate level:

·         Company logo on our corporate sponsor banner at the finish line: $100.

·         Company logo on the banner plus 5 entries to the event: $250.

·         Company logo on the banner, 5 entries to the event, and your logo on the back of race shirts: $500. (This level is limited to 20 sponsors, and for ordering purposes, it must be secured by September 14th.)

·         Company logo on the banner, 5 entries to the event, and your logo on the either the right or left sleeve of race shirts: $1,000. (This level is limited to 2 sponsors and must be secured by September 14th).


We are also in search of other types of donations, such as snacks, fruit and bottled water.


Please review the attached flyer, which details the 5K race specifics. The Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation and the Ortyl family sincerely appreciate your consideration in supporting their charitable organization. If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor or have additional questions, please contact us via the established email:


Monetary donations can be submitted to: MOHF 5K Race, c/o Adam & Suzanne Gabris, 2213 Glencoe Summit Court, Wildwood, MO 63011. Checks can be made payable to: Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation.


The Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation

Nicole Weckherlin and Suzanne Gabris, MOHF 5K Co-Chairs


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