Last year over Labor Day weekend, a motorhome accident on I-90 just off Canyon Road resulted in the deaths of six-year-old Kaci Edelbrock and her grandmother Lois. Kaci and Louis were taken to Kittitas Valley Hospital where they received medical attention, but sadly passed away.

A year later, the family is still receiving an outpouring of support from local communities and as a result, wanted to do something in return. On Friday, Aug. 16, the Harper family, who are neighbors to the Edlebrocks in Monroe, donated a multitude of stuffed animals to KVH in recognition of the care the Edelbrock’s received. The hope was that it might bring a smile to another child’s face.

After this tragedy, Kaci’s family founded the Big Heart Big Smile Foundation in memory of Kaci. According to the Edelbrock family, Kaci always had a big smile on her face and a big heart. She enjoyed life to the fullest, and touched many hearts in her six short years.

The foundation’s mission is to help kids in need in various ways. One is to sponsor local youth sports in her home town of Monroe, and also to give a yearly Kaci Edelbrock Memorial Scholarship to a Monroe High School senior. Through fundraisers and donations they hope to bring smiles to kids who need them most, but also to inspire other people to do acts of kindness to people in need.

The Harpers thought one thing they could do to show their love for Kaci and the staff who tried to save her was to donate a multitude of stuffed animals Teddy bears in various shapes, colors and sizes. The toys were given to the hospital and each animal donated was tagged with photo of Kaci Edlebrock and information about the Big Heart Big Smile Foundation.

Although Kaci is gone, the foundation is trying to create a “place” or environment where a child might be able to smile. According to the Edlebrocks, the money raised goes toward events that are targeted at kid play or helping to further improve a child’s future. Event centers, splash parks, playgrounds, baseball fields, basketball courts and other free or low cost sports camps are some of the locations the Edelbrocks have hosted events.

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