North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Leah's Dream Foundation holds Valentine's Party


February 14, 2018 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Local parent Zulema Alvarado, left, and daughter Valeria Alvarado make necklaces at the Leah's Dream Foundation Valentine's Party on Feb. 9.

The local Leah's Dream Foundation held their second annual Valentine's Party for those with autism or other special needs and their friends and family.

The party was held on Feb. 9 at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School commons.

Local parent Deanna Sheldon is the co-founder of the foundation which began in 2015 with the goal of providing community events for children with autism.

Sheldon has a daughter, Leah, who has autism.

"We had our first event in December of 2016," said Sheldon.

"We just continue to do more and more events and more families and children are coming," she said. "The atmosphere and everything is just surreal."

The Feb. 9 party was their second Valentine's event and eighth event in total. It included an open mic, pizza, cake, games and crafts.

Students from the M-PHS Life Skills program also helped with the event and often help with the foundation's events.

"We will continue to have more events throughout the year," said Sheldon.

"We invite everyone from pre-school all the way up to high school," she said.

Sheldon said that many parents and kids have begun to get excited about upcoming events from the foundation.

"This is something a lot of parents and kids look forward to. So, for us, being able to do something for the community brings more awareness to our foundation and also gives kids a fun day to be themselves," she said.

Local parent Renee King said she loves the events.

"They are wonderful. Our kids look forward to this and they feel like they're a part of something," she said.

Local parent Zulema Alvarado comes to the events to support her son who is in the Life Skills program.

"We like it, we come to every event," she said. "We always come and participate with the Life Skills program," she said.

Sheldon said the events are good for parents, too.

Christopher Andersson

Local Katie King sings karaoke to "You Are My Sunshine" during the Leah's Dream Foundation Valentine's Party on Feb. 9.

"I know when Leah was younger she was in a more self-contained classroom and personally I never really felt comfortable going to school events because I didn't know a lot of the parents around the school," she said.

"By creating these events you feel more at peace. If your child has a meltdown or doesn't want to do something, we all understand," she said.

At other events there is a lot more anxiety about potential problems, she said.

The Leah's Dream Foundation is funded through local donations.

"This is funded through the money we raise through our golf tournament," said Sheldon. This year will be the fourth annual golf tournament for the foundation on July 14 at Battle Creek Golf Course.

"We appreciate everyone's support in our community," she said.

More information is available about the foundation and their events at


Reader Comments

Quil Ceda Village - Favorite Neighborhood Stores

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 08/14/2018 20:16