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December 22nd, 2022

Helping Veterinary Students Achieve their Dreams

Headshot: JoAnn Bacon
JoAnn Bacon

We had no idea that what we wrote in Charlotte’s obituary would provide an opportunity to see her dream of becoming a “doggy doctor” come alive in others. Our loving tribute to her life shared that she had dreams of being a veterinarian from a very young age, and this caught the attention of North Carolina School of Veterinary Medicine.

In the winter of 2013, the school raised money to start a scholarship at their school in Charlotte’s memory and reached out to us for our approval. We agreed that it was a beautiful way to remember Charlotte.

The first few years was fully funded by the staff and faculty at North Carolina State, and as we found our feet, we found ourselves being drawn to this initiative and the way it spoke to Charlotte’s unfulfilled dream.

We started to attend the annual scholarship dinner which was, by a twist of fate, held the same week as Charlotte’s birthday. At these dinners, we catch up with the faculty and staff that have been so committed to this scholarship, and we meet the scholarship recipients who are always the most gracious and compassionate young adults. Gracious in their accepting of the scholarship award but so many also owned a mature dose of compassion that gave them the courage to speak of Charlotte and grief. The 16 recipients of the Charlotte Bacon Veterinary Scholarship are some of finest young people we have ever met.

For Joel and I, this scholarship was completely in-line with what we hoped to accomplish with the CHB Foundation. We were making Charlotte’s dream possible by supporting the dreams of others.

Over the next several years, the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation would work towards endowing the scholarship. On February 22, 2022 (2.22.22) and Charlotte’s 16th Birthday, the Charlotte Bacon Veterinary Education Scholarship was fully endowed helping to make dreams come true in perpetuity.Yet another act of love made possible by so many.

-JoAnn Bacon

This article is the fifth in a series of “look backs,” originally published on Thursday, December 22, 2022.

To Support the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation, please visit our website:

Headshot: JoAnn Bacon

JoAnn Bacon

JoAnn, along with husband Joel, co-founded the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation to honor the way their little girl lived so boldly. She and Joel also published the children’s books Good Dogs, Great Listeners and The Dogs of Newtown, written by their son and Charlotte’s older brother. JoAnn is committed to de-stigmatizing grief and bereavement, particularly child loss. Her writing has been featured in many national publications including TIME, Modern Loss, and The Mighty.