Sunday, June 12, 2011

Elle's Memory Tree

This past Thursday Fairfield Elementary School in Saco (where Elle attended Kindergarten) planted a Memory Tree for Elle. It is a flowering crab-apple tree, which would please Elle to no end as she loved trees that flowered.

Her teacher Mrs. Pendleton, her kindergarten class and Principal McMullin were there along with her family, and her best friend Laina. Elle's class sang a song and Mrs. Pendleton read a poem they wrote before everyone took a turn putting a shovel of dirt into the planting hole for the tree. The poem was framed with pictures of all the students and Elle for her parents to have.

It was a lovely ceremony and it will be wonderful to have a living, growing memorial for Elle. Many thanks to the entire Fairfield School community for such a wonderful and heart-felt tribute.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Steppin' Out Dance Centre - Award and Scholarship

If Elle's family (including her two cats) was the most important thing in her life, then dance was a very close second. For almost four years Elle was a student at the Steppin' Out Dance Centre in Saco. Every year they have a summer recital at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland. Their 2011 recital is this Saturday, and we have some exciting announcements to make.

First is the award. During Elle's battle with cancer, she won an award at her last two recitals, respectfully called The Heart of Dance and The Spirit of Dance. The school has decided to make The Heart of Dance award a permanent fixture, renaming it the Eleanor Clare Paye "Heart of Dance" award. It will go to a student each year who battles through great adversity and still continues to dance, just like Elle did.

Second, we are happy to announce the first charitable action by Power of Elle. Starting this year, the Steppin' Out Dance Centre will be awarding the Bright Light Scholarship. Funded by Power of Elle, it is an annual $500 scholarship that can be applied for by any Steppin' Out student pursuing higher education in the fall.

Lastly, at the recital this Saturday the school will be giving out white flowers and gold ribbon pins. People attending the recital and taking the flowers and/or pins will be able to make a donation. All monies received this way will be donated to the Fund by the Steppin' Out Dance Centre.

Steppin' Out was a huge part of Elle's life and they are near and dear to us, a feeling that is mutual. We are pleased we could do the scholarship for them and that they are doing the award and donation collection for us.

Belated Thanks

In the months between Elle's passing and the launch of her Fund, there have been many people who have made donations to or raised money for Elle's fund, and have made donations to other organizations in her name. I'll have to go through a lot of papers to get to them all, but I want to mention two right here.

First, Mike Paul of Mike Paul Foundations in Saco raised over $500 for the Fund in the month after Elle's passing. He made these great black knit caps with a gold ribbon (the pediatric cancer color) on the front. Mike also raised money for all of Elle's family to go to a Red Sox game in August of 2009.

Second, Eirik Paye and his co-workers at Nickelodeon in California raised $600 to be donated to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Elle's name.

The generosity and kindness of not only the people I mentioned here, but of everyone who made a donation, is overwhelming. It comes from the same spirit of kindness and love that Elle possessed. Thank you all.


Some of you reading this may have been followers of Elle's blog - How is Elle? - as we chronicled her brave battle with Pleuropulmonary Blastoma. If so, I apologize for the time it has taken us to get to this point today.

However, Elle's mom and I are pleased to announce that we officially have in operation a charitable fund dedicated to helping Elle's legacy of bravery, love and happiness live on.

Officially called The Eleanor Clare Paye Charitable Fund, it also goes by a name some of you will be familiar with - Power of Elle. For those of you not familiar with the name, it was the name of the Facebook Group used to keep people up-to-date on Elle's progress after her initial diagnosis in March of 2009 and also to announce fund-raising events.

And that is what we will do here. We will keep you up-to-date on what charitable donations the Fund is making, things other people are doing to raise money for the Fund and events the Fund is holding.

If you would like to visit the Fund's website, the address is