I wanted to update everyone regarding the flood that we had at the IRIS office on February 28, 2012. Those of you who live in our area my remember the rain and snow mix that we go that afternoon and evening. It was a nasty mix of cold, wind, rain, sleet, and snow. Not pleasant for anyone, especial for those who where outside trying to stop a plugged storm sewer from backing up in the street. The plugged storm sewer flooded and as it continued to pour the water from the street, the city hall parking lot, and the 18 hour parking lot (behind the building) had no place to go except into the stair well to the Chase Bank Building and directly into the IRIS office that occupied the lower level.


At 6:45 pm when I came into open the office for a support group meeting the water way coming in from under the door and was out about 3 feet from the door. Sue and Tony Reuvers and their family along with the owners of the building Dick and Anna Kettering and their son Richard came in for clean up.


By 8:00 pm when the parents left the meeting (early because of the weather and noise from clean up) the water was about 6 feet from the door and declared cleaned up with plans being made to go home.


By 8:15  pm the water was coming in around the basement door frame 2 ½ feet off the ground. Within minutes the entire lobby and parents rooms were under inches of water.


By 8:30 pm a call for help went out on Facebook.


By 8:40 pm volunteers where there helping to pump the 2.5 feet of water out of the stairwell and move IRIS items upstairs.


By 9:15 the power had to be turned off because of water.


By 11:00 pm volunteers were still coming to help.


By 11:30 pm we had moved all of the items that could be moved upstairs. By doing so, we closed the 3 businesses located on the main level as they could no longer get to their office doors.


By 11:30 pm a cleaning crew was on site and cleaning up the water.


February 29, 2012 At 8 am there was still approximately 1 inch of water standing on the floor of the IRIS office and there was a not so wonderful aroma coming from the basement.


By 8:30 am it became apparent that we would have to leave our home of 17 years. More volunteers were again called in via Facebook and everything remaining in the basement and the items move upstairs the night before were moved into 2 – 16 foot trailers and the trailers stored.


By 6:00 pm the hunt had begun for a new location for IRIS. It became very apparent that this was going to be no easy task.


On March 16th a lease was signed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On March 19th IRIS began moving into our new home! The IRIS office is now located at 112 Third St. NE in Faribault MN! We are 2 1/2 blocks east of our previous site, and located between the Post Office and the Depot Bar and Grill!

Countless volunteers, Sue Reuvers (our new administrative assistant), board members, and I have spent many hours moving our belongings into our new home and inspecting each item for damage. As you can imagine this has been no small task. The water and moving without proper packing has done significant damage. The quilts, computers, and most keepsakes have survived without much harm. Paper items have been the hardest hit; they have picked up a sour smell that forces us to discard them.

As we continue to unpack we ask again for your patience, understanding, and prayers. We understand your fears, concerns, and emotions regarding our move, but would like to remind you that visiting is the best way to see for yourself that IRIS is bigger and better because of the flood. Consider stopping in for a visit! We would love to have you!

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Voting for the Pepsi Grant

Voting for the Pepsi Grant is going well but we still need your help. Currently we are ranked 28 !!!!!
You Can Help a Local Non-profit

And it Won’t Cost You A Penny!

Why Help IRIS?
IRIS has applied for $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant! The winner of the grant is picked by the public; who cast “votes” for an idea. The IRIS idea is “Train Volunteers To Assist Parent When Their Infant/Child Dies”. IRIS receives request for assistance from all over the United States. By training 150 volunteer Advocates, 30,000 grieving parents & family will be helped in 1year.

Here Are ALL The Way YOU Can VOTE For IRIS!

1. Log on to: http://www.refresheverything.com/irisremembers every day in August.

Click “Vote for this Idea”

If you have “Power Votes” (found inside the case or under bottle caps of Pepsi products)

Click on the words “Power Vote for this Idea”
Enter the code
(You can use up to 10 Power Votes per e-mail address each day)

2. Vote on Facebook

Log on to http://www.refresheveryting.com/irisremembers
click on vote by Facebook and Vote the same as above

3. Vote by Texting (your normal texting rate applies, there are no extra fee’s):

Text: 108084 To: 73774

(In other words: Send a text message to Pepsi, their special number phone number is 73774. In the message type the number 108084)

4. Get Daily reminders and more info at http://www.irisRemembers.com

5. Please share this info with your family & friends across the USA! Every vote counts

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Grant $, Loss, and Giving Back

I hope that you know that Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS) has been working very hard to get a $50K Pepsi Refresh Grant! Everything is in place and voting started yesterday. So happy that we checked the website at 11:15 am as Pepsi didn’t send us an e-mail telling us we were in the running until 4:45 pm. Getting the word out about voting for this grant is a challenge to say the least. Today list included posters being printed, posters being e-mail out to volunteers who have offered to hang them, marking the windows on our cars so people remember to vote (no small task when it’s so hot out!) …. And by the way if you don’t know, you can log onto http://www.refresheverything.com/irisremembers and vote for us…. Don’t forget to use your Pepsi power votes, they are found on Pepsi boxes and under the caps… You can also Text your vote … and yes it’s legal to do both! Text: 108084 To: 73774 every day in August please! If you would like to help share the news feel free to let me know!

I have had some questions about what we plan to do with the money… well, we are planning a Training Conference to show others how to create the keepsakes, run support groups, offer support… like we do for IRIS. We would also like to provide them with the supplies to get started. By training 150 people in one year 30,000 lives would be touched. You can learn more about it on the refresheverything site. A Brochure will also be posted on the IRIS website http://www.irisRemembers.com very soon.

We get phone calls all of the time from people needing an IRIS Advocate right now or who want to know why we where not there to help them. It’s very hard to explain why we are not there and to hear the tears over the phone. In those cases the best we can do is to give them suggestions and ideas on how to create some keepsakes.

So now you know, consider helping us out! Volunteering makes you feel good!

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IRIS in May

This past week has been full of great things for IRIS. We have had 4 balloons found from one little boy’s memorial balloon release. Three from a release in 2010 and one from a release in 2009. The funny thing is that there will be another balloon release for this little boy next weekend. We were also able to find the parents for a memorial tag that was returned to us from the IRIS Balloon Release in Oct of 2010. We had the child’s name but no parent’s name. Thanks to a family friend, the tag has been returned to the parents.

Minnesotain May BBQ contest that will be held in FaribaultMay 20th and 21st at the Rice County Fairgrounds. Proceeds from the wonderful event will be donated to IRIS. This event is run by the MN BBQ Society and the Kansas City BBQ Society. We have been looking for volunteers to help with this event and have plenty of help with the BBQ side of the event but could use some help staffing the IRIS info both. Let us know if you have a few hours to share.  You should know this event is open to the public and has no cover charge. Visit www.mnbbq.com for more info.

We have also been working on an application for a Pepsi Refresh Grant. You may remember that we where in the running for a Pepsi grant last year. We did very well in the standings considering we where up against hug organizations with millions of dollars in backing. At one point we where ranked 35 out of over 300 applications! In February Pepsi asked us to run for a grant in 2011.  This year we are taking a little different approach with opportunity. Soon on the IRIS website you will find an abundance of information regarding the grant and how the funds will be used for training of IRIS Advocate across the country. The cost of the 3 day training will be based on weather or not the grant is won. Visit www.irisRemembers.com for more info and updates!

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So What’s Next for IRIS?

What a wonderful weekend to have a balloon release! The weather could not have been better. The last 2 years the weather was cold and wet, last year we had wall cloud mixed in with that balloons! Have posted a few pictures here and on the Infants Remembered In Silence Facebook page and hope to have more up on the IRIS website soon. http://www.irisRemembers.com

There are a lot of things going on with IRIS right now, we have Balloons from the release being found (in Iowa so far), we still have the Pepsi Refresh Grant (your daily vote is needed!), we are taking registration for the IRIS Turkey Trot – our 5K Chipped Timed 5K Run, 5K walk, and Kids Fun Run that will be held on Thanksgiving morning at the Faribault Middle School, and we are getting ready for the 17th Annual IRIS Holiday Service of Remembrance that is held annually on the 1st Sunday in December, this you that will be December 5, 2010.

You can find more info on all of these events at the IRIS website http://irisRemembers.com

Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS): We really need your help with voting for IRIS to win $250,000 from Pepsi. This video explains allot about IRIS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrAG04-33Bs. Please watch it and then log onto www.refresheverything.com/iris and vote every day for IRIS. You can also Text 102517 to Pepsi @ 73774 And vote from FB! Remember you have to click on “vote for this idea” then sign in, and click “VOTE FOR ITHIS IDEA” AGAIN. Then you will see the number of votes go from 10 to 9 and get a message of thanks from Pepsi. In case you didn’t hear, we are doing this again because Pepsi rolled us over to try again for the October voting cycle…Please share this info!

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Balloon Release, Potluck, and 2nd time with Pepsi

NOTICE  ~  IRIS Balloon Release this Sunday – we have been notified by the city of Faribault that due to flooding this last week in Faribault , we will not be able to have picnic tables at the park. If you have tables and lawn chairs please bring them!

  • Potluck will still be held at 12 noon
  • Balloon Release will be held at 2 pm
  • At Kinder Park (located at the corner of 17th St. and 24th Ave. in NW Faribault, MN)

 Also please note:  The IRIS Pepsi idea Train volunteers across the US to help people after a death of a child was not voted to receive a $250,000 grant BUT I received an e-mail today saying that since we came so close, Pepsi automatically entered it into the next October voting period. To be fair to everyone, the vote counter has been set to zero. Please KEEP  VOTING and Please make sure that YOUR  VOTE  COUNTS!!!


1.         Log in to www.refresheverything.com/iris

2.         Click: vote for this idea

3.         You will hear pouring pop/soda sound

4.         Click: VOTE  FOR  THIS  IDEA! (yes you are clicking on it 2 times)

5.         In the Lower Left, Blue Bar, under GOALS you will see your vote count. The Number 10 will change to 9 votes left today. (You can only vote for IRIS once a day online)

6.         You will also receive a message in the area where you voted that says “Good Job”, “Right On”, etc.


1.         Text 102517 to Pepsi at 73774

2.         You will receive a message back that say “Thanks 4 your vote”

3.         Your normal texting fee’s apply!


1.         Log on to www.refresheverything.com/iris and sign up for FB voting and to have it listed on your page.

Let’s give it another try !  We all know how important this program is in the lives of thousands of people.

Please share this info with everyone you know!!! If you have an idea on how to get others involved, or have a way to spread through e-mail, schools etc. please do it!

And REMEMBER…. everyone is welcome to sign up for daily reminder e-mails at www.irisRemembers.com

THANK  YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Your help

Only 5 times left for you to vote for IRIS! www.refresheverything.com/iris

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