The Darcie Sims Memorial Conference Scholarship

The Tony Brown Foundation LLC is pleased to announce that it will be sending ONE grieving parent to The Compassionate Friends/USA 38h National Conference. In 2012, I had the privilege of meeting Darcie Sims at the Costa Mesa Conference!  That was an event that turned my grief journey into one of healing and helping.  I had the opportunity to be mentored and inspired by one of the most beautiful, knowledgeable minds on grief.  I attended Darcie’s Grief Service Provider Program and shared some wonderful moments on the set of Open To Hoe TV with her and other amazing people.  Darcie also helped me with the first Life After Loss Symposium, gently guiding and directing  me through the process.  Darcie also attended, presented and keynoted during Life After Loss providing those in attendance an experience they will never forget.  Darcie inspired and encouraged me to grow, learn, share and always strive to reach my dreams.  I now dedicate this scholarship to her beautiful memory!

The Compassionate Friends is pleased to announce that Dallas, Texas will be the site of the 38th TCF National Conference on July 10-12, 2015.”Hope Shines Bright … Deep in the Heart” is the theme of this year’s event, which promises more of last year’s great national Conference experience. The 2015 Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Dallas..  To learn more about this years conference visit The Compassionate Friends website.

TFC38 Texas

A message from Tony’s Mom:

After my first conference in July 2011, two years after the death of Tony, I came back and wrote about my experience and how deeply it healed and touched me.  I vowed to spread that feeling through the foundation and share the power of compassion and hope with another grieving parent.  The sense of  community and love was overwhelming.  People actually WANT to hear about your child, care about your REAL feelings and treat you as part of their family. It is something that must be experienced.  When I went to my second one, I prepared myself for a let down, after all how could it compare to the love, hope and healing I experienced that first time.  Well, I was happily mistaken.  I came away with a new sense of peace in my heart.  A deeper healing had taken place leaving me even more excited to be able to share this event with others.  I have since attended two others, each healing on a meaningful level. I hope that through my son’s memory I will be able to slowly spread this feeling and help heal hearts and instill a sense of hope in as many people as I can reach.

In 2012, I had the privilege of meeting Darcie Sims at the Costa Mesa Conference!  That was an event that turned my grief journey into one of healing and helping.  She inspired and encouraged me to grow, learn, share and reach my dreams.  I now dedicate this scholarship to her beautiful memory!

Last year the foundation grantedJenny Robbins, Kade’s Mom the scholarship.  To read what she wrote about her experience and how it helped her, click here.

You may read the article  I wrote after attending the conference in 2011 by clicking here or you may view the slide show from the 2012 conference by clicking here

You may be the next recipient of our scholarship to this years Conference.

The deadline for applications is April 26th and the recipient will be announced May 3rd.

PLEASE be sure to read ALL the rules and regulations regarding this gift.


Me with Maryann and my new Shoreline Chapter Friends at the candle lighting!

Rules, Regulations and Legal:

The Tony Brown Foundation LLC (to be known herein after as TBF) is granting a wish to ONE Continental USA Member of  The Compassionate Friends.  If your wish is to attend The National Conference this year in Dallas, then The Tony Brown Foundation wants to help.

**What TBF will cover:

  1. TBF will cover the cost for the conference fee and meals EXCLUDING and any/all cost incurred outside of the paid portion of the conference.
  2. TBF will pay for the hotel room for Thursday July 9th, Friday July 10th, and Saturday July 11th with check out on Sunday July 12, 2015.  You will have the option of paying for extra nights on your own.
  3. YOU are responsible for getting your self to and from the destination.
  4. YOU will be responsible for any cancellation, change or other fees not covered by TBF.


The Tony Brown Foundation requires the candidate to:

  • Be a member of a Continental USA Compassionate Friends Chapter
  • Be a FIRST TIME conference goer
  • Write a short essay to be read by a panel explaining why you feel the conference would benefit you, a brief description of your journey that has led you here and how you will use what you learn to help others.
  • Be able to provide a letter of recommendation from your chapter leader
  • Must attend AT LEAST one workshop per day, the candle lighting dinner,  AND opening and closing ceremonies.
  • Be willing to share their experience with a short story or article about how the conference helped you and be willing to pay it forward in some small way.


  1. Following the above requirements, send your letter of recommendation and essay to:

The Tony Brown Foundation LLC

PO Box 822

Monroe, CT 06468

Attn: TCF National Conference

or email to: with subject line TCF conf 2015

In consideration of being accepted, I hereby affirm, acknowledge and agree to the following: :

    • That I assume all responsibility for any and all damages to, or theft of, my personal property or any bodily injury (including death) that may occur to me.
    • I assume responsibility for property damage and bodily injury (including death) that I may cause to others, in each case arising or resulting from, incidental to, or as a consequence of, my participation.
    • TBF will NOT be held responsible for missed flights, cancelled flights, delayed flights or ANY problems or fees that arise due to conditions beyond the control of The Tony Brown Foundation including but nor limited to:
    • Illness and/or  emergency medical treatment/transportation / evacuation
    • The airline or hotel goes out of business.
    •  Bad weather other natural and unnatural acts out of human control.
    • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage.
    • Your trip is delayed, cancelled or interrupted due to an unexpected strike, terrorist attack, war, or other act of violence expected or unexpected.
    • A plane crash, fire or other destructive acts to any facility or transportation you may be part of.
    • Any unlawful acts, committed by the you or towards you, a family member, or a companion.
    • Alcohol or substance abuse, or related illnesses.
    • Any unexpected or unforeseeable events legal or illegal by you or anyone else.
    • Any expenses incurred  for any reason outside of what is covered by TBF.
    • This is non transferable or eligible for resale.
    • Any photos, publicity or images electronically or otherwise may be used at the discretion of TBF.
    • Forms must be received by midnight, April 26, 2015.
    • That I grant the permission for use of my name and/or picture in any broadcast, photograph, video, or other account TBF sees fit to use.
    • A panel consisting of Chapter leaders and foundation members will choose the recipient based on information provided to us.
    • Recipient will be notified by May 3, 2015.

I look forward to meeting you at the conference and sharing in the healing path this will lead you down.

Anne Castaldo


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