Remembering Logan: Toddler raises funds in late sister's memory

·3 min read

MOUNT FOREST – While the Rohrback family never expected their daughter’s annual birthday fundraiser to grow beyond their backyard, community interest has changed the game.

Loonies for Logan, a Mount Forest fundraiser created by three-year-old Brooklyn began as a way for the little girl to stay close with her older sister, Logan.

“I like (collecting the loonies),” said Brooklyn. “It helps me remember my big sister.”

With a little help from her parents, last year, Brooklyn raised $250 in loonies for the obstetrics unit at Groves Memorial Hospital where she and her sister were born.

“When we started this, we just wanted to keep putting Logan’s name out there so we could keep talking about her,” said Danielle Rohrback, Brooklyn’s mom. “So every year, whoever is invited to Brooklyn’s birthday is asked to bring some loonies.”

In August 2018, Logan was unexpectedly stillborn at 36 and a half weeks after Danielle went in for a normal checkup, concerned by the lack of movement in her stomach.

When doctors couldn’t find a heartbeat, Danielle was transferred to Groves where the umbilical cord was discovered wrapped around Logan’s foot.

“She was just kind of kicking around in there and then when the umbilical cord wrapped around her foot, it just tightened up and then cut off everything to her,” said Danielle. “It's not all butterflies and rainbows when you’re pregnant but there's always support out there for if you do need it or experience something like that.”

A year later, Brooklyn was born. But the Rohrbacks still felt they needed to find a way to create new positive memories of Logan for their daughter.

“If we didn't start Loonies for Logan, I don't know that we'd be mentioning her name as much as do now, which is important for us,” said Danielle. “It just makes me feel better, keeping her name alive.”

In June, Loonies for Logan will participate in their first community event outside of family and friends, at the Father’s Day Annual Co-Ed Pitch baseball tournament. Keeping in theme with Brooklyn’s third birthday, all funds raised will go to Groves Memorial Hospital's obstetrics unit.

“After a couple of people reached out asking how they could donate, it made me start thinking that this could get bigger,” said Danielle. “I’m still not 100 per cent on how we’d go about that but we’d love to fundraise and attend events year-round.”

For now, Danielle collects pictures and donation receipts in a box so that when Brooklyn grows up, she’ll be able to look through and remember where and why she collected those loonies as a kid.

“We’ve received comments from total strangers that we don't know...and it's just very heartwarming,” said Danielle. “Hopefully I can save (those comments) so Brooklyn can look at them when she’s 18 or 19 and see what she accomplished.”

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,