John and Lara Plaisance have lived in Waukee since 2013 and fell in love with the community. The couple had great plans to raise their three sons in Waukee, but their plans drastically changed on April 17, 2016. Their third son, Andrew Joel Clark Plaisance, "Drew" was stillborn that day, due to unforeseen complications during labor, two days before his due date. They had been excitedly waiting for him to join their family that already included Drew’s big brothers, Ben (7) and Theo (5) at the time. In the months that passed following Drew's death, instead of looking forward to his future, Drew's parents began searching for the perfect way to honor Drew's memory. As parents, they felt grateful to have the means to be able to provide their children with opportunities to participate in sports, music, after school activities, and camps. They had looked forward to watching Drew in participate in those activities as he grew too - to see what would spark his interest, what he would be passionate about, what he would excel at. Most importantly, they looked forward to watching him have fun, to be a kid, to get the most out of his childhood. In their sadness of facing his lost childhood, they decided the best way to honor Drew would be to find a way to give his childhood to other kids. That’s where Drew’s Crew for Kids comes in.
Drew’s Crew’s mission is to facilitate access to enrichment activities for local youth in need. The vision is to bridge the activity gap - the gap between the youth from different socioeconomic backgrounds that prevents all kids from having access to the same activities. Research has shown that participation in enrichment activities leads to better grades, better self-esteem, less criminal activity, better job opportunities, and more economic success as an adult. In a community like Waukee, where so many families are at a financial advantage to “pay to play", and with a growing number of kids at a financial disadvantage, the activity gap is widening. The group of kids Drew's Crew serves is a group that many Waukee residents do not even know exists. Because of the lack of awareness of the issue, no one had stepped in to address it. Through Drew's Crew, our hope is to narrow that gap and put all kids in Waukee on an equal playing field. We believe that a parent’s inability to pay for baseball equipment (let alone team fees and travel expenses), or dance shoes (let alone classes and recital costumes), or a clarinet (let alone private lessons, music books, and cases of reeds), should not prevent any child from discovering their passion, living up to their full potential, or just being a kid. We hope you will join us by becoming a member of Drew's Crew for Kids and keeping his childhood alive in others.