As many people know, we are a very charitable bunch at BFO. On May 18, my sister’s softball team, the Lodi High School Blue Devils, are sponsoring a charity softball game with all proceeds going to Gio’s Garden. BFO is proud to align with Lodi High School Girls Softball to make this year’s charity softball game a big success! They’ve been doing this charity game for a few years now, always with the goal of reaching $10,000 to donate to Gio’s Garden.

What is Gio’s Garden?

Gio’s Garden is a therapeutic respite center for children up to six years old with special needs. Families receive 24 hours of care a month, or 6 hours per week FOR FREE. Many of the children at Gio’s Garden call this their home away from home. Since 2012, Gio’s Garden has provided more than 20,000 hours of care to families in Southern Wisconsin!

Who is Gio and Why Gio’s Garden?

Gio’s Garden began as a seed of frustration from parents of children with special needs that grew into a magnificent respite care home in Middleton, Wisconsin. Named after Giovanni Giordan, a boy who, in his short life, has gone through 3 brain surgeries and at one time suffered from more than 80 seizures a day. Despite his disabilities, Gio was declared “not disabled enough” to get home nursing care.

He wasn’t alone. His mother and father met other parents who were struggling to get through the disability system. These parents were working 40 hours a week as well as caring for their angels. And they weren’t getting something every parent needs…a break—a break to run errands, go on a date, or even spend time with other siblings who may feel neglected because Mom and Dad are spending all their time caring for their “sick” brother or sister.

Together, these parents raised money and opened Gio’s Garden Respite Home in Middleton in 2012. While Gio’s Garden asks parents to help with some payments, it is not required. Many parents do what they can, but the organization survives through donations, fundraising events, and community outreach.

That’s Where We Come In!

As part of the “Community Outreach,” my sister, along with Head Coach of Lodi High School Girls Softball Varsity Program, Jamie Midthun, has organized a charity softball night on Friday, May 19th at 4 pm in Lodi, Wisconsin. The Lodi Blue Devils will play the New Glarus Knights with local radio DJs, ballpark food, and a lot of amazing raffle prizes!

BFO has donated Cubs/Brewers tickets to the raffle and will be allowing Beefers to take VTO, volunteer time off, for a half day to make the trek and help any way we can. We also started a GoFundMe that will raise funds for Gio’s Garden. If you are inclined to donate, that would be amazing. The GoFundMe address is: https://www.gofundme.com/gios-garden-awareness-night

We really want to help the team raise $5K, which will help them make their ultimate goal of $10K this year! Thank you for your support and contributions!


Also published on Medium.