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April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Murphy-Goode Winery has selected
Rachel Reynolds of
Ashland, Va., as its "A Few Goode Heroes" contest winner for the month of March. Reynolds and her husband, Roger, founded CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation (CJSTUF), a non-profit that provides financial assistance and healthy, in-hospital meals to the families of critically ill children. The organization was created in memory of the Reynolds' 4-year-old daughter,
Charlotte Jennie, who lost the fight to pediatric cancer in 2010.
As Murphy-Goode's Hero of the Month, Reynolds will receive a
$1,000 donation to CJSTUF. The winery will also make a matching grant to its own non-profit partner, Operation Homefront, the national organization that provides emergency monetary aid to military families. In addition, Reynolds is now eligible for the grand prize of a
Fourth of July barbecue in her hometown, hosted by Murphy-Goode.
"Most people in Rachel's situation would be tempted to shut themselves away and think of the world as an unfair place," said
Dave Ready, Jr., winemaker for
Healdsburg-based Murphy-Goode. "But Rachel has done the opposite — she's positive, generous and empathetic. She doesn't want anyone to ever feel like they're alone. Murphy-Goode is proud to call her a hero."
In addition to her work with the foundation, Reynolds wrote the memoir "Four Seasons for Charlotte: A Year with Pediatric Cancer," which was published by Palari last summer. The book grew out of a blog she and her husband started to update family and friends about their daughter's illness. She hopes the book will help people better understand how to support loved ones in a similar situation.
"One thing I've learned through this journey is that everyone is dealing with something, and acknowledging that helps build relationships," Reynolds said. "I'm not doing what I'm doing to be a 'hero' — I just felt like I had to step up to the challenge, to do these things because they needed to be done."