Thank you for your support

Since 1997, FRIENDS has touched the lives of thousands of people. We offer financial help in the form of grants to help families afford the cost of registration and the hotel. Without this aid, many families would be unable to attend. In one case, our aid allowed a family to stay in the hotel rather than sleep in the family car (which shows how much the FRIENDS experience is valued).

We continue to do all we can to keep expenses down: hotel rates, meals, and registration fees. If you are able, we would like you to consider a donation to help another family attend our convention. Registration/lodging for a family of two (one parent and one child) is approximately $800. For two parents and two children to attend the convention, registration/lodging cost is approximately $1300.

You can also generate donations for FRIENDS when you buy items on Amazon’s Holiday Toy List at


Ro Ostergaard was involved with FRIENDS from the beginning. Her daughter, Val, stutters and the entire family attended the very first convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1997. From that first, small convention, Ro was hooked! In fact, the next year, her family chose FRIENDS over a trip to Disney! Ro soon became Assistant Director which was an entirely volunteer position. Her continuous efforts and unending love for FRIENDS helped us grow from just a few families to the hundreds of members we have today. Ro fought a courageous battle with thyroid cancer but sadly passed away in September of 2017.

Those of us who knew Ro were very fortunate and treasure the friendships we had. The goal of reaching out to new families, and keeping FRIENDS accessible for new families, was very dear to Ro’s heart. Ro loved talking to these families each year, and her infectious laughter made everyone feel welcome. Therefore, we are establishing the Ro Ostergaard New Family Scholarship Fund in her memory using funds that have been donated in her name.

If you would also like to donate to FRIENDS in her name and to this scholarship fund, please select the corresponding donation choice below and indicate your preferred amount. 

Employer Matching Gift: Many companies will match your gifts. Check with your employer.

Please support us at one of the levels listed below.

In advance, thank you very much for your generosity.

With much appreciation,

Lee Caggiano

Executive Director and Co-Founder

We offer financial help in the form of grants to help families afford the cost of registration and the hotel.

Volunteer or Donate Today!

Get InvolvedDonate