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Foundation keeps legacy of Agawam woman alive


March 21, 2014
<b>Evan Bard</b><br>Reminder Publications submitted photo

Evan Bard
Reminder Publications submitted photo

By Carley Dangona

carley@thereminder.com

AGAWAM – Residents will have the opportunity to strike a pose for a good cause when Second Wind Yoga hosts a fundraiser for the EvvGirl Foundation.

The studio, 325 Walnut St., will host a beginner-level class at 11 a.m. on March 22. The foundation was established in honor of Evan Bard who passed away in a car accident, just two weeks from her 21st birthday last year. Her father and founder of the foundation, Todd Bard, will discuss the foundation after the class. The class is free, but a $10 donation is recommended. Light refreshments will be served.

Reminder Publications had the opportunity to interview her mother Barbara Bard about the creation of the EvvGirl Foundation.

“Evan wanted to be a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse and had the biggest heart,” Barbara said. “She touched everyone she met in some way. Evan is such a huge part of our lives and such a tremendous loss to so many. By carrying on things that she was passionate about, it is keeping a part of Evan alive in all of our hearts.”

She discussed how she and her husband chose the name for the foundation. “Shortly after Evan’s death, we were trying to come up with a foundation name and noticed Evan’s twitter name ‘EvvGirl’ and it seemed perfect. After talking to her roommates at Curry College, they said the name came from their freshman year when people would meet them and they’d introduce themselves. Everyone would say ‘Wait, Evan’s a girl?’ and they grew tired of explaining ‘Yes, Evan is her name and yes she is a girl,’ so they started calling her EvvGirl,” Barbara said.

One of the first projects the foundation undertook was the installation of cameras in the NICU at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Barbara shared, “Baystate’s Davis NICU absolutely loves the cameras. There are only six there and we are working diligently to have Baystate be the first in Massachusetts to have the cameras provided by the EvvGirl Foundation as that was where Evan and her siblings were born and Evan had her first shadowing experience.”

She continued, “The response from the NICU doctors, nurses and families has been tremendous. They absolutely love the fact that when a family member cannot be with their baby at the hospital, they can connect by logging onto the web portal anywhere in the world at any time and see their baby live.”

Barbara discussed the foundation’s future. She said, “The EvvGirl Foundation is interested in anything to do with our mission statement. Currently, we are focused on the EvvGirl NICU Project, which is to bring webcams to every NICU bed in Massachusetts. We decided to reach higher and not leave out anyone and therefore we have broadened the project to include all of New England and New York. The foundation has met with a majority of the hospitals with resounding positive interest.”

She continued, “Evan impacted a lot of lives in the short 20 years she was here and we feel it is important to continue her legacy for many years to come. Evan loved cheerleading, nursing and most importantly children. Our foundation will do anything we can do to stay connected with those areas.”

Barbara explained, “The EvvGirl Foundation would like to help fund projects in hospitals that have a connection to pediatrics, maternity, and overall nursing. We will also look to do projects with early childhood centers and cheerleading, as these were all an integral part of Evan’s life. Our fundraising long-term goal is to make this foundation self-sustaining and it run by her sister Leisl and brother Elijah.”

To learn more about EvvGirl, visit http://evvgirl.org. For more details about Second Wind Yoga, go to http://secondwindyoga.com.

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