STRATHAM — Kathy Megna was a stay-at-home mom who understood that one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is a good education. So she worked tirelessly and volunteered at North Hampton School to help whenever extra effort was needed.
Her model, known to family and friends as Mimi, forms the basis of a new educational foundation for the greater Seacoast region. Founded in March by her eldest son, Mike, Miracles from Mimi is her family’s tribute to the mother she lost to a two-year battle with breast cancer last year.
“I’m one of four; There’s my sisters Allie and Molly and my younger brother Luke,” said Mike Megna, who now lives in Stratham. “We all grew up in North Hampton and attended North Hampton School. My mother’s entire life was dedicated to children and their community. She was very involved in school.”
As North Hampton School expanded, Mimi Megna took over the fundraising. When the kids needed an outdoor playground, she was there again, as was Megna’s father, Mike, who used his building experience to coordinate the build.
When she died in 2021 at the age of 59, the family was devastated. But through their example, the family hopes to continue their work in schools across the Greater Seacoast, offering programs through Miracles of Mimi to inspire children to think.
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Miracles of Mimi to provide schools with enrichment programs
“Our mission is to provide enrichment opportunities to children in the local community that enhance their curriculum learning in school,” said Megna. “This way schools can have more tools available.”
Megna did his homework beforehand and spoke to the principals to see what they needed most. Megna Learned Speakers and school assemblies can inspire children to learn and apply skills learned in the classroom. Unfortunately, finding funding for speakers and meetings is not always easy. And this is where Miracles from Mimi comes in.
The type of programs the foundation offers could include social awareness or goal setting, he said, or other inspirational themes.
“We want the kids to look forward to these enrichment programs every year,” he said.
That takes money, and Megna already has a fundraising plan that includes three special events each year.
“In the spring, we’re planning a flight night with cocktails and a nice dinner,” Megna said. “In the summer we are planning a 5K road race in Stratham. And in the fall there is the Purple Paddle Golf Outing.”
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The group already held their first Purple Paddle Golf Outing — so named because Mimi loved paddling — and it was a roaring success, he said, with 80 golfers and 20 sponsors raising more than $41,000.
“We will use these funds to initiate our Miracles from Mimi Speaker Series, which will help provide schools with speakers on a variety of topics that lead to enhanced enrichment,” Megna said. “We have signed two schools so far to go live with the series in December and January and we are actively looking for more.”
The foundation, registered with the state of New Hampshire as a not-for-profit corporation, has already received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service, Megna said, so contributions to it are tax-deductible.
The group has a fully functional and secure website at wondersfrommimi.com. It describes the cause and includes pictures of Kathy “Mimi” Megna.
By clicking on the “Take Action” list in the menu at the top of the webpage, people can help by either volunteering their time to help with one of the special events or by contributing to the cause.
Megna said the loss of his mother was a tremendous loss, not only to his father and siblings, but also to his own three children and the community his mother so devotedly served. Fostering this new foundation in her mother’s image, however, has given meaning to the family.
“It was fun, although it’s bittersweet because she’s not here,” Megna said. “But it keeps them close. I’m sure she’s smiling.”