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.
Golf for Joy 1995
Golf for Joy 2004
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.
Meghan's fountain at ECEFC as of May 2018
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 official golf tournament under the name '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 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 ECEFC 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.
This inspired us start what we call our 'Gifts of Joy' program. We want all children to experience the Joy that should be childhood. With this in mind, we have contributed to the cost of, or purchased, everything from bicycles, iPads, hearing aids, standers, admission fees, and countless other things. Whatever helps a kid smile, we will find a way to help. As of January 2019, we have donated Gifts of Joy in excess of $80,000 with several other projects currently pending.