Community Giving

Annabelle Loschko

Fund Name: Annabelle's Fund
Fund Established: April 15, 2003
Community Foundation(s): Brainerd Lakes Area

Annabelle Loschko was a baby who won the hearts of thousands of people in Brainerd, in Minnesota and around the world. At the age of three months, discovery of Annabelle’s congenital heart disorder prompted an emergency trip to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. She was later transferred to St. Louis Children’s Hospital where a heart transplant was performed in late January. Annabelle died Feb. 12, 2002 -- two weeks after surgery.

During the two months of struggle, hundreds of people prayed for Annabelle and her parents, Ellie and Mark. They also sent donations—more than $30,000—to help the Loschkos with their expenses. More than 78,000 tracked Annabelle’s condition through the assistance of Caring Bridge, a free internet service to keep friends and family in touch during important life events.

Excellent insurance coverage meant that Mark and Ellie didn’t need all that was donated. They used what was left for charitable purposes. They are deeply grateful for all that was done for them during Annabelle’s illness and wanted to give back.

“Besides, this really isn’t our money,” Ellie said.

So they established the Annabelle Fund. The hope is to support organizations like Caring Bridge and Campy Odayin, a camp for children with heart disease.

Lilyanna Louise, Annabelle’s sister, was born the day before Thanksgiving in 2002, which Mark and Ellie take as a gift from God to help ease the pain of losing Annabelle. Lily is a lucky girl; she will always have the model of human generosity in her life, through the actions of her parents and through the Annabelle Fund.