Louisa is the director of Bags of Fun KC and has been since its inception in 2011. She has a degree in Special Education and taught and tutored before starting Bags of Fun in Kansas City. As a close family friend of executive director and founder, Tammy Krause, she is honored to continue keeping Gabby’s wish alive. “Gabby was such a bubbly, funny girl. She loved joking around, and made us all laugh! She spent many hours playing at our house, riding in our car, and even gave my husband a nickname we all still use today. Her legacy has brought her same joy and laughter to so many children and their families!” Louisa is proud to be a KC native. She and her husband have five children and when not working she likes traveling and reading.
With a background in pediatric nursing I have seen firsthand what a child and their family goes through when diagnosed with a life threatening condition. This became a reality for our family when our niece Gabby was diagnosed with cancer at age 5. Her determination and kind, giving spirit spilled over into her wish to bring a Bag of Fun to every child fighting a battle. It is our wish to bring Bags of Fun to the Omaha area and continue spreading the joy and love that Gabby would have wanted. It is in her spirit that we bring happiness wrapped up in a backpack to those children going through a really tough time in a world where just being a kid and playing is their job! It is with great honor that we are able to bring this foundation to the Omaha area and are extremely grateful for the opportunity to provide joy to children living with a life threatening illness.
Kelly Fallin has been an active supporter of Bags of Fun since 2008. Friends of the Rudden family since high school, she enjoyed attending various Bags of Fun events with her family for years. She became more involved by volunteering to help with the annual Bring out the Bags fundraiser and is now a proud team member. Now with firsthand, personal experience, she believes strongly in our mission and hopes to expand the Bags of Fun program in Colorado, so that every child fighting a life threatening disease or condition receives a Bag of Fun. Kelly works with the local community, Corporate Sponsors, Foundations and Individual Donors to increase the scope and awareness of our wonderful program. Her roles include running the annual charity golf tournament, grant and corporate outreach, Bring out the Bags sponsorship and event planning, community event assistance and really whatever is thrown her way.
Kelly is a busy mom to her 2 children, Carter and Mitchell. She enjoys time with her large extended family, tennis, golf, skiing and cheering on her kids in their various sports activities.
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
– Dolly Parton
Tammy Rudden Krause knows first-hand the power of play. The original Bag of Fun was created for her daughter Gabby shortly after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 5. As the mother of 4 and having a background in Special Education, Tammy understood the importance of play especially for kids in special circumstances. Gabby took her Bag of Fun to all of her treatments and hospital visits and asked “why don’t other kids have a bag?” Shortly after Gabby passed away in Sep of 2004, Krause reached out to her network and asked them to help start The Gabby Krause Foundation with the signature project being Bags of Fun. Tammy is committed to bringing Bags of Fun to every child in Colorado fighting a life threatening/ long term illness and to expanding the organization across the country.
Tammy is a Denver native, mother to Madison, Kennedy, Gabriella and Zachary and step mom to Cooper and Colton. She loves going to all of her kids’ activities and any sporting events. Summer when everyone is home is her favorite time of the year! She graduated from TCU in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in education.
“Start by Doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Francis of Assisi
Kelly Moran has been a part of the Gabby Krause Foundation since 2007. She was lucky enough to witness Gabby at play in the neighborhood swimming pool and on the playground. It was quite evident to Kelly that Gabby wanted to play as much as possible despite her difficult treatments. Kelly is grateful to be a part of the Gabby Krause Foundation and help other kids with life threatening illnesses experience the power of play while undergoing treatment. Kelly manages the finances for the Foundation with a focus on fulfilling every single hospital request for a Bag of Fun. Her expertise has helped the Foundation to sustain and grow the Bags of Fun program.
A mother to twins Maggie and Ally and to Molly, Kelly volunteers regularly at Regis Jesuit High School. Kelly also serves as a math tutor to many kids in her community.
“You must do things that you think you cannot do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Although Windy never knew Gabby, she is friends with several people that were very close to her. Their passion for Bags of Fun inspired her to get involved with the Foundation. Windy first volunteered at fundraisers in her neighborhood of Sundance Hills. Then she started helping with swim-a-thons and our main fundraiser, Bring out the Bags. Being a former teacher, Windy is a strong believer in kids helping kids, and the power of play, which translate directly to her role as Program Director for the Gabby Krause Foundation. Windy works to promote Bags of Fun through local swim-a-thons, fundraisers at schools, events and all things Bags.
Windy is a mom of 2 young men, Ryan and Jack, and enjoys volunteering at their schools. She also loves going to her kids sporting events and activities, walking her dog Moose, playing golf and traveling with her husband, Matt.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Kirklyn Simonton has been involved with The Gabby Krause Foundation since its inception in 2004. When Gabby was first diagnosed, Kirklyn was her tennis instructor and remembers vividly “Gabby’s intense need to play, even when she was dealing with the horrible fatigue and side effects of treatment. She would literally not give up on that tennis ball, even though she could barely hold the racquet!” Initially as a volunteer, then as a Board Member and now as an employee, Kirklyn believes strongly that the power of play and the power of community are essential elements to dealing with difficult situations! Speaking from personal experience, “Bags of Fun are a powerful tool to help children feel like laughing and playing, but are also a reminder of that there are people out there that care and understand the feeling of helplessness as a parent. It is a gift of joy, laughter, comfort, strength and hope at a time when those feelings are not thought possible.” Kirklyn works directly with the community, corporate sponsors, foundations, and individual donors to continue to fund Bags of Fun in Colorado and to expand this program to other sites.
A mother to 3 children, JT, Charlie and Greer, Kirklyn spends her time attending their sporting events and activities. Active in the Cherry Creek School District, Wellshire Presbyterian Church and Haiti Partner’s Children’s Academy, community involvement is an important aspect of her life.
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” e.e. cummings
Dananne Solomon has been volunteering for the Gabby Krause Foundation since its inception in 2004. Gabby’s mom Tammy is a lifelong family friend and the families spent lots of time together playing at the pool, baking or just hanging out. The Krause family holds a very dear place in Dananne’s heart as she was around for Gabby’s diagnosis, treatment, hospital days and stays, good days and not so good days, as well as everything in between. To say that Gabby was a fighter is an understatement; she was so much more than that. She was first and foremost the little girl who taught us all so much; she taught us how to endure, how to smile, how to cry, and how to be inclusive, how to pray, how to become a community who cares and does, how to overcome and when to give in, but most of all she taught us how powerful play is! She loved her own Bag of Fun and loved to share her toys. Dananne is the Director of Colorado for this amazing organization, and her favorite thing about Bags of Fun is the truly awesome community that helps to maintain, sustain and grow this organization each and every day.
Dananne was born and raised in the Denver area and is a 4th generation native. She and her husband of 28 years have three daughters, Delaney, Darby and Dailey. Dananne has been a volunteer for many organizations over the years including Junior League of Denver, The Fine Arts Foundation, Haiti Partner’s and The National Charity League.
“…it’s play that helps us do serious things better…”
– Jake Orlowitz