Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ava's Tea Party....A fundraiser for Ava's Splash Pad

Join us for Ava's Tea Party THIS Saturday! I apologize for my late post on this. My family and I have been battling the flu, however we are on the mend and ready for this magical day to take place. A HUGE thanks to our wonderful sponsors. The Mt. Juliet Parks and Recreation Department in helping organize it.  Short Cakes Cakery & Cafe , a local Mt. Juliet business that, "specializes in creating uniquely flavored cupcakes made from scratch using real butter and the best quality ingredients". They will be providing us with half of the cupcakes and their famous Deep South Fruit Tea. (We will also have lemonade in case tea isn't your child's choice of drink). Another huge sponsor in this fundraiser is Last Minute Planners. They are providing all the magical details of lace, vintage tea cups, and all things pretty, making it unique and special for each child that attends. And last, but certainly not least, Josh Connor, Regional Director of Modern Woodmen of America has agreed to MATCH (up to $2,500) the funds raised on this project. That's right, MATCH what you donate. So, if you choose to donate $5, Modern Woodmen Matching Grant Program will make that $10. This is a great way to make your donation go further is allowing the Mt. Juliet Parks and Recreation Department purchase things that are much needed for Ava's Splash Pad (like benches, shade umbrella, picnic tables, etc.). There is a paypal link to the right (or click here) to donate. Any amount will help. Thank you community for always supporting Ava's Splash Pad and this foundation in its endeavors to make our community a better place for children to enjoy life. None of this would ever have happened without your continued support and donations. 

Krista (Ava's Mommy)

PS. The tea party is sold out, but please don't be discouraged. It was small this year, and we hope to make it bigger next year. Feel free to hold your own tea party this Saturday in honor of Ava (or Ava's Splash Pad), and feel free to still donate to the fundraiser. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

" A Volunteer Doesn't Have the Time, They Have the HEART!"

Here is the speech written by Ava's Mom on the Grand Opening of Ava's Splash Pad July 27, 2013.

     "Well, I must say, I wondered whether I would ever be standing up here at the end of this journey opening such an amazing splash pad. Certainly in my dreams I have played this moment over and over in my heard, but to actually be here, I think I need someone to pinch me!

     Volunteers, friends, supporters, sponsors, and family, THANK YOU for helping keep Ava's memory alive in her community and for caring enough to volunteer, to step up to the plate and work selflessly and tirelessly for our cause. I am truly humbled by the love and dedication of so many.

     I have so many people to thank, so I ask that you bear with me. There has been so much unbelievable support of this project it is truly overwhelming and I sincerely hope I do not forget anyone. Please forgive me if I do. Waterplay Solutions Inc., for affording me the opportunity to win a grant and for making the splash pad a beautiful representation of our sweet Ava. The city commissioners and city manager-for your incredible support of me....this project...and the community....THANK YOU!

    There are so many people who donated their time, talents, and expertise as they individual contribution to the splash pad. All of these people have profoundly touched our hearts with their generosity.

      A special thank you to former Parks Director Jay Cameli. From that very first meeting and every step of the way, you have been a constant support of me and this project.

     Now for some amazing individuals that were at the core of this project. Firstly, a massive thank you to Rocky Lee and the Mt. Juliet Parks and Recreation Department. Your dedication and commitment to this project has been outstanding. You have managed the construction of this project with patients and sensitivity, but at the same time, provided great leadership. It has been a pleasure to work alongside you and develop friendships with all those involved.

     Jennifer Hamblen-I sent you a simple text asking you to help me and I am sure at the time, you have NO idea that it would involve so much. You have shown selfless love, love for me, love for my little girl, and love for this community. You consistently gave your time, your resources, your heart and soul into this project without any desire to be recognized for your good deeds. You were my partner and you made me keep going when I wanted to give up. I know you wanted to stay under the radar today, but I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for your leadership, perseverance, and most of all friendship. I hope we will be friends for a lifetime.

     And then, there was this man in Georgia, who simply read a story about a two year old little girl from Mt. Juliet Tennessee who died from a tonsillectomy. It touched his heart so much that instead of going on with his life, he took action....BIG action, to help make it a reality. Greg Perkins, the effort you have put into this project, both paid and unpaid, is a credit to you as an individual. You did not look away, you did not step away, you stepped UP to what felt like, at times, an impossible challenge. You had the opportunity to do something great and you did. I can't thank you enough.

     Clint, with Clint Construction, you are AMAZING! A few weeks into this build, our local contractor pulled away from the project. I think we were a little shell shocked for a while, but came way too far to give up. Clint came in to pick up the pieces and see this project through to the build. He worked tirelessly day after day, neglecting his own family to do something for mine and for our community. Clint, you literally saved this project. How is it that some people can give so much of themselves to a cause founded for a little girl they barely knew or never met? These people truly make the world a better place to live. "A volunteer doesn't have the time, they have the heart".

     I had three choices after we lost Ava. I could cease to exist, I could continue on breathing while moving nowhere, or I could do something harder. I made a promise that Ava would not leave this world unnoticed. That we would survive and be strong and embrace what remained. That we would turn a tragedy into something positive for a community that did so much to us.

     This was a community wide effort. I sparked the idea, and helped lead the projects inception, but it was the entire community coming together for a single purpose that made this happen. And now, this dream of having a slash pad in memory of my darling girl is COMPLETE, thanks to so many people. We would have never imagined that this beautiful, and amazing splash pad would be the end result."

You can find links to news stories and articles here from the opening day:

WSMV Channel 4

News Channel 5

The Tennesseean

WKRN News Channel 2

Now Playing Nashville.Com

The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet

The Wilson Post

Mt. Juliet News

Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce

Sunday, February 3, 2013

We WON!!!

Thank YOU to everyone who voted for the Make Way for Waterplay Grant. We were Grand prize winners and we couldn't have done it without each and every person that voted and shared the link to vote! See the press release HERE from Waterplay Solutions, Inc.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


We are in the final running for a grant that will award up to $50,000 for the splash pad located in Mt. Juliet TN. PLEASE help us out and vote from every device you have and please SHARE the link. We are the only finalist in the US.

THANK YOU for your continued support!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Race Day Information for registered runners/participants:
You can pick up your race materials (except for your race bib) at the Greenhill Women's Club (brick building in front of MJ little league) from 4-7 pm on FRIDAY evening and on race day from 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Walk-up registrations will be accepted on race day ($30 for 5k and $20 for 1 mile registrants). If there are any remaining race t-shirts, they will again be distributed on a first come, first serve basis on race day. We can not guarantee a t-shirt for registrants who register after March 25rd , 11:59 p.m. CST. If you registered as a “ghost runner” (a person who registers for the race, but is unable to participate on race day) and want your t-shirt, then please make arrangements for someone to pick it up on either FRIDAY evening or in the morning on race day. We do not have the means to keep track of this for you. After the race begins, we can not guarantee that we will have any extra t-shirts. If you want to purchase a race day t-shirt and/or make a donation, you will be able to do that onwww.avalynshayefoundation.org.
A limited number of priority parking passes for race day volunteers and corporate sponsors/team vendors with be available. If you have a priority parking pass, you need to be in the park by 8:00 a.m. as the entrance/road to the park will close at that time. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.  All participants can park in designated parking areas at Mt. Juliet Middle School, Joy Church, and Elzie Patton Elementary. The parking map will be emailed to all registrants. It is also attached to this post. 
There will be several course monitors providing direction as needed. In addition, there will be a water stop at approximately 1.5 miles for the 5K and a water stop at .5 mile for the one mile. The 1 mile family fun race will begin promptly at 8:30 at the entrance of Charlie Daniels Park. The 5k will begin after the one mile, promptly at 9:00 a.m. The 5k will line up in the designated area for “5k runners/walkers”. We ask that when the one mile runners/walker finish, they move to the side so that the 5k runners/walkers can line up. Everyone is welcome to stay in this area for the singing of the national anthem, prayer, and start of 5k. 1 milers can cheer on the 5k runners! 
**TIMED PARTICIPANTS:Reminder, your bib and chip will NOT be included in your race packet. You must pick up your bib and chip the morning of the race when you sign in at the registration pavilion. 
*Your bib needs to be on your CHEST and VISIBLE when you come across the finish line. This year our timing company will have a large TV monitor that will provide finishers with real time race results. Within seconds of finishing the race, you can go to the TV monitor to see your official time. Official times will also be posted at www.avalynshayefoundation.org Saturday evening. 
Balloon Release: Be sure to stop by and grab a balloon for the start of the 5k race. Don't worry, they will not have strings attached to them, so they are 100% biodegradable. :)
There will be water and fruit for all participants following the race. Kids will be awarded a small medal for participation in the race. After the race, you may go back to the center of the park for the sponsor expo, music, kids activities, and FOOD! 
All kids must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian for a wristband to participate in the kids’ activities. Waivers will be available on race day and on packet pick up on Friday night. Children cannot get a wristband to participate until the waiver is signed. Wristbands are included as part of registrations, otherwise are available (donations accepted) for late and same-day registrants, or for those kids who are not registered for either race. A wavier must be signed for your kids to participate in the kids’ activities. 
There will be breakfast foods available for purchase from G-Daddy's Hotdogs pre-race (coffee, donuts, pastries, juices, and sausage biscuits) and hotdogs, chips, and drinks post race. ALL proceeds from food will benefit the Avalyn Shaye Foundation, Inc. to build the splash pad! We will also have popcorn & cotton candy available for purchase as well. 
There will be 2 onsite photographers taking pictures on race day. One will cover the team photos and one will be covering the actual race. They will both be taking snapshoots throughout the morning.  Photos will be available to view and order after the race on  www.theavalynshayefoundation.shutterfly.com webpage. Last years  (2011) race pictures are available now. Go check it out! 
If you are a team captain and would like to set up a tent with activities, or to sell something and/or raise awareness for "your reason", please contact kristabright@avalynshayefoundation.org. 
**Participants that are a part of a team please get with your team captain and plan to visit our "team tent" to have your team picture taken. Pictures will be made from 7:45-8:30 and after the race if necessary. You may order online them online starting Sunday, April 1st. We are SO thankful to all of our teams for all their hard work in organizing a team and fundraising for your reason!


*It's not too late to encourage a friend to sign up!! Online registration closes on Thursday, 3/29 @ midnight - However, you will be able to register on Saturday morning as well.
***Remember, Family 1 Mile starts at 8:30 and then the starting ceremony for the 5K will begin immediately so that the 5K begins promptly at 9:00.
Thank you again for being a part of the 2nd annual Ava's Run for a Reason 5K! A special thank you to those individuals who fundraised and donated towards Ava?s Splash Pad as well. We hope to see you all next year. 

Ava's Race Committee

Friday, February 10, 2012


Here are our wonderful sponsors for 2012. THANK YOU so very much in supporting our cause!



 Hosting Sponsors



GarGARRS Rental and Feed Mt. Juliet 


 "Your Neighborhood Equipment Rental and Feed Store"





Elyssa & Beckam's Birthday Party



the Paddocks of Mt. Juliet


Middle Tennessee Pediatric Dentistry 








White Level Sponsor

MJ Trophy

Cash Express, LLC Mt. Juliet

SHILO MUSIC CENTER  615-758-9437



Pryor Family Dentistry, DDS 

4066A North Mt. Juliet Road

Elzie D. Patton Student Government

Mt. Juliet Police Department 


The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet 

101.1 the beat

the big 98

107.5 the river

105.9 the rock

Newsradio 1510