Sharing Our Joy

In 1995, our family started what would become an annual event – a golf tournament in memory of our daughter. Meghan Joy Brochowski passed away at 15 months of age due to pneumonia with complications caused by her cerebral palsy. Each year as we came together with friends and family, the MJB golf tournament allowed us an opportunity to remember our little girl and celebrate her life.

In 2004 to celebrate the milestone of our 10th annual golf outing, we wanted to find a way to make our event have a greater impact. It was time to create a legacy for our daughter and to find a way to give back. Many times in the past we had been asked what people who don’t play golf could do to support our tournament and help us remember our daughter. Finally in 2004, we had an answer – and The MJB Foundation was created.

To emphasize the goal of the foundation we changed the name of the MJB golf tournament to Golf for Joy. The MJB Foundation was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on February 5, 2005.

Our initial goal was to use the foundation to contribute to and build awareness of the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Early Childhood Education (FCBMRDD ECE) program. Meghan benefited a great deal from this program in her short time with us so it seemed only natural to give there first.

Our first Golf for Joy yielded almost $2,000. On February 4, 2005, the MJB Foundation donated funds for a fountain to be given in Meghan’s name. On May 18, 2006, Meghan’s fountain was dedicated in the outdoor learning area at the MRDD ECE and Family center. Through your continued generosity the MJB Foundation was also able to donate funds to landscape around Meghan’s fountain. In the spring of 2007, a dedicated group of volunteers prepared and planted the garden. Rebecca Love, Director of Early Childhood Education at
MRDD talked about the peacefulness of the fountain. Love wants to add engraved stepping stones that will be called “Meghan’s Angels.” Love joked that, “one day the kids will all come out to find the staff having lunch with Meghan.” In a 2006 article, Debbie New, instructor at the center, talked about how much the kids enjoy the fountain. “The kids love it. They’re always out there, putting their hands in it for different sensory
experiences,” New said.

Meghan only smiled twice in her short life. One of those times was upon returning to classes at MRDD ECE after a long winter break. It is our hope that the children who attend classes now will experience the same happiness and Joy from this fountain.

On April 25, 2006 the foundation made a contribution to The Miracle League of Central Ohio. That contribution helped to pay for player registration fees for children with challenges to play baseball. Kailey gave a speech as we presented the donation to their board of directors:

    “First off, I would just like to thank you for all that you have done for children with challenges. We are here today to present to you a gift – to help pay for the player registration fees for those in the Miracle League. Meghan Joy Brochowski, my twin sister, died in May of 1994. I’m sure that if she were alive today, she would have been honored to play in the Miracle League. As much as Meghan would have been honored, we are even more honored to present this money to you to help the Miracle League. Thank you for all that you’ve done to make the world a better place.

    Sincerely, Kailey Brochowski and The MJB Foundation”

At the 2006 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village, Jim was lucky enough to get the autograph of Kevin Hall who had overcome profound hearing loss to become a top collegiate golfer. A few days later, our friend Lorne Weigt wrote to tell us of his newborn son Luke’s hearing loss. We were grateful that Jim had gotten Mr. Hall’s autograph and he sent it to Luke with the hope that he will know that anything is possible in life. We also immediately knew that our foundation would reach out to children in the deaf community because of Luke. On May 23, 2007, The MJB Foundation made a donation to the Children’s Hearing Aid Fund at the OSU Auditory Clinic as our first Gift of Joy.

Other MJB Foundation work:

  • 2006 – Donation to the Miracle League Playground
  • 2006 – Donation to Special People in Catholic Education
  • 2006 – Established Gifts of Joy program to provide adaptive equipment to children who would not otherwise have access. It is our hope that our Gifts of Joy program will ease the burden for families who lack the resources to ensure that their children do not go without necessary items to help them lead happier, more Joyful lives.

To date, The MJB Foundation has raised more than $10,000 to help bring Joy to children with challenges in Central Ohio.