Results are achieved through inclusive practices that purposefully educate the community and eliminate stigmas for children with special needs.
Advocating for children with special needs requires insightful and knowledgeable leadership actions designed to link available resources to the unique needs of children being served.
Purposeful and ongoing collaboration accelerates meeting the needs of children with special needs.
Focusing an active and fiscally strong operational system on the mission of ACOLF ensures maximum service to children with special needs.
The highest level of service to children with special needs is achieved through passion, honesty, and integrity.
Self-sufficient and sustained support creates a legacy equipped to meet future needs of children with special needs.
Empowering children with special needs must focus on enhancing the life of the individual child.
The Story of ACOLF
Anna Molloy & Anna's Celebration of Life
Anna was born September 28, 1995 & arrived right on time to anxious parents Pete & Julie Molloy & 2 year old big brother, Peter. Anna was a quiet baby and although she ate well, she was not gaining weight. In January 1996, as Anna was battling what appeared to be flu-like symptoms, her pediatrician insisted she be taken to Riley Children’s Hospital. It was there that she was diagnosed with RSV, a respiratory syncytial virus – a virus that for a new infant or a child compromised by underlying health problems, can be life threatening. Anna was in & out of the hospital for the next few months, but by April 1996, she was admitted back to Riley Hospital and would remain there for the next two years. Although doctors did not know what medical issues Anna was facing, they were certain there was much more to her illness than RSV. During her two years at Riley, numerous tests were run, numerous consultations were had – including a visit to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – and an information sharing consultation with a top doctor in Germany. Numerous surgeries and numerous emergency codes called. Throughout this time, all information regarding Anna was continually entered into a worldwide database. It was through this database that a diagnosis of Geleophysics Dysplasia was found - a very rare disease with little known about the cause or treatment of it. It made understanding this disease difficult. Even so, it was time to begin planning the next steps toward taking Anna home. As scary as this idea was, it was time to find some form of normalcy in the family’s life. Although it took an additional six months to learn to care for a child with a tracheotomy, feeding tube, oxygen and ventilator, Pete & Julie were up to the task. Finally it was time to go home… Pete & Julie were unaware that during the 2 ½ years they were living with a toddler at home & one in the hospital, many of Pete’s business associates & friends were meeting on a regular basis in an effort to bring something very positive out of this entire experience.
Forming a Celebration of Life!
Brad Schrock – Custom Concrete Joe Carr – Pete’s 1st customer in 1985 – Custom Concrete Ernie Beaty – WE Beaty Construction Brad Hoop – WE Beaty ConstructionRichard Dotson – Karns Inc./Conco Construction These gentlemen, who had been following Anna’s life and the family’s struggles, came to Pete asking for permission to start a foundation in Anna’s honor. They invited Pete to one of their regular meetings to discuss the ideas they had been formulating throughout the previous 6 months. It was at this first meeting they presented the idea of a foundation celebrating Anna’s Life and the lives of “special” children throughout the community. This wonderful team of men had gone so far as to reach out to marketing companies - to secure artwork for the logo, attorneys, local businesses , a 501c3 non-profit federal status and financial backing. With the blessing of the entire Molloy family, Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation, Inc. was born. In the early years, Anna was involved in all of the fundraising events as well as with the presentation of the gifts. With a mission statement – “to afford children with special needs the ability to celebrate their “specialness” through adaptive devices that would otherwise not be available to them”. When Anna first got her wheelchair, it was apparent how free and self sufficient she felt. This was the same feeling Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation wanted other children to experience.
Beyond the Foundation
Anna’s spirit of giving became contagious. Everyone who came in contact with her felt a burst of energy coming from her small body. One of those people was Lucious Newsom. Lucious was a southern Baptist minister who came to Indianapolis to help serve the Mozel Sanders Thanksgiving dinner and stayed in Indianapolis to serve the poor for the next 25 years. Anna, along with her family, volunteered in distributing food to families on the near West-side of Indianapolis. It was during these Saturday mornings that a beautiful bond grew between Anna and Lucious. One Saturday morning, Pete approached Lucious telling him about Anna’s Celebration of Life and its mission to help children with special needs. This talk sent Lucious into motion. He asked Pete to take a ride with him through the neighborhood being served by The Lord’s Pantry. As he drove Pete around the Stringtown neighborhood, he explained that the children in this area had special needs – their special need was poverty and thus a building must be built to serve the needs of these children. Pete explained that building a facility did not fit within the mission statement of Anna’s Celebration of Life but that he would do all he could to help Lucious’ vision of providing for his special children.
Lucious asked Pete to reach out in the community, reach out to those in the construction world to help make this vision a reality. With the help of Lucious’ friend Leo Stenz and Pete’s friend Brad Schrock (see foundation origination), the ball started rolling. Together, they all began reaching out for donations of materials and labor. Soon, many companies were on board. IMI – concrete, Thermocore – interior/exterior walls, Custom Concrete – basement walls and foundation, Pat Fitzgerald – HVAC. With the help of Lucious’ and Pete’s friends, the friends of Anna’s Celebration of Life and many prayers the building was built in about 8 months time. On the day of the ground breaking, Lucious announced to everyone in attendance that this new building, a house to feed and support the children and families of Stringtown, would be called Anna’s House – to honor his dear friend Anna Molloy, "a little girl who in spite of her challenges, gave so much of herself to so many others."
Her Legacy Lives On!
On July 31, 2008, Anna lost her long-fought battle with Geleophysics Dysplasia. 18 days later, Lucious Newsom lost his long-fought battle with cancer. It seems so fitting that 2 people so dedicated to giving to others would continue their partnership together… in Heaven. Together overseeing the good, of which together, they created. Since the passing of both Anna & Lucious, Julie Molloy (Anna’s mom), along with so many wonderful volunteers, have worked to keep their memories and missions alive by continuing to provide for and support the families of Stringtown. It is very apparent that Anna Molloy made and is still making a huge impact on the lives of so many children both through Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation and Anna’s House (annashousemsc.org). Proving that no matter how big or small, how healthy or challenged, everyone can make a difference in this world. Now in 2015, Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation is granting nearly 75 wishes per year with a goal of reaching 100 by 2017. God bless Anna and her gift of giving. We know that Anna IS proud that so many continue to join Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation in celebrating the “specialness” of children.
Board of Directors
Board of Youth Directors