About MCC

morgan-school
Morgan’s Caring Connection Story

Morgan’s Caring Connection originated shortly after the unexpected loss of our daughter, Morgan. In the aftermath, we found ourselves grappling with myriad challenges that had long been present in our lives. From making funeral arrangements to drafting an obituary, from taking time off work to managing unforeseen financial burdens, we were suddenly thrust into a whirlwind of tasks while struggling to cope with the ordinary demands of life. Over the span of 25 years, we had continually faced difficulties in locating and accessing necessary resources. While we had meticulously planned for Morgan to outlive us, we were unprepared for the reverse scenario.

Reflecting on our experiences, we realized the profound need for proactive planning in the face of such tragedies. Thus, inspired by Morgan’s memory, we embarked on a mission to assist others in similar situations. Our aim with MCC is to lighten the burdens faced by parents and guardians, ensuring they have the support, resources, and financial assistance needed to navigate the aftermath of loss. Through education, provision of resources, and financial support, we aspire to empower individuals to face such challenges with greater resilience and preparedness.

Morgan was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. We were blessed to have Morgan in our lives for 25 years before she passed peacefully in the night on October 15, 2023. She moved through life with a free and sometimes feisty spirit. She graduated from Verona High School and was currently living in Mineral Point, WI, and working at the Hodan Center. She was happy and living her best life after recent years of health challenges.
She loved her music. Some of her favorites included Hannah Montana, Hilary Duff, Big Time Rush, One Direction and Taylor Swift. She loved Harry Potter, proclaiming herself a wizard in the Hufflepuff house. She enjoyed shopping and had an extensive collection of water bottles. In high school, being a part of the cheerleading squad gave her immense pride and a sense of inclusion. Morgan always cherished her chicken tenders and cheese curds. A day wouldn’t go by without the use of her iPad and headphones.
She loved to travel. Morgan made many trips to Florida to visit her grandma and grandpa Oliver, as well as trips to the beach, including her Make-A-Wish trip on a cruise to the Caribbean. The highlight of that trip was swimming with dolphins. She enjoyed camping with family and trips to the lake, church mission trips, and going to Camp Courageous in Iowa. She also participated in sled hockey, wheelchair basketball, and martial arts with Master Tracy. Morgan was proud to be on the board of the ARC-Dane County, where she received a self-advocate award.
Attending Sugar River United Methodist Church brought her immense joy, comfort, and a sense of community. She enjoyed her Christian music and always kept a Bible near her. She attended regularly with her dad and sister. Morgan faced her many challenges in life with grace and strength. She will be remembered for her endless smile and happy spirit that captivated all who knew her.

Meet the Board of Directors

Kelly Strutt
Kelly Strutt

Co-Founder & Board of Directors, President

Kelly has dedicated 28 years of her career as a registered nurse to serving patients at the University of Wisconsin Hospital Carbone Cancer Center. As the mother of Morgan, Kelly cherished 25 years of shared experiences until Morgan’s unexpected passing on October 15, 2023, forever altering her life. Throughout Morgan’s brief yet impactful life, she confronted numerous challenges. As a mother, Kelly has continuously faced additional hurdles, particularly in caring for a daughter with special needs. Like many families in similar circumstances, they often discovered resources through shared experiences with other parents navigating similar paths. However, the lack of readily accessible resources frequently left them feeling overwhelmed and reactive to challenges, adding to their stress. Frustrated by the perpetual struggle to find solutions, Kelly found herself resigned to the absence of adequate support. From these struggles emerged the vision for a nonprofit organization, Morgan’s Caring Connection. Inspired by conversations with fellow parents grappling with similar obstacles, Kelly and her team want to empower families by providing resources, education, and financial assistance, enabling them to navigate challenges and plan for the future with greater confidence.

Christine Savides
Christine Savides

MCC Board of Directors, Vice President

Since the early 1980s, Christine Savides has dedicated her career to supporting individuals with diverse abilities. Transitioning to the public-school system in 2006, she served as a Special Education Teacher in elementary settings, spanning grades K4 through 5. For the past eight years, Christine has excelled as a Transition Coordinator, focusing on students aged 18 to 21. In 2023, feeling the call to further her impact, Christine embarked on a new journey by establishing her own business, Beautiful Life. This venture offers comprehensive consultation and therapeutic services to families and support staff, encompassing observation, assessment, planning, training, documentation, and reviews of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs). Christine’s alignment with the mission and vision of MCC led her to eagerly accept a position as a Board Member. She looks forward to contributing her expertise and passion to an organization dedicated to supporting families for years to come.

Chris Schultz-Buechner
Chris Schultz-Buechner

Board of Directors, Secretary

Chris Schultz-Buechner boasts over three decades of extensive experience in marketing. For the past two decades, her focus has been on effectively communicating the advantages of energy efficiency to a wide audience in an engaging and enjoyable manner. Chris’s connection with Morgan dates back to before Morgan’s birth; she has been friends with Morgan’s mother, Kelly Strutt, since their high school days. Remarkably, Morgan and Chris’s son share the same birthday, just a year apart. When Kelly and Janis proposed the idea of establishing a nonprofit to honor Morgan’s memory and invited Chris to join the board, words failed her, but tears spoke volumes. Chris feels deeply honored to contribute her expertise and passion to the inception of Morgan’s Caring Connection.

Janis Strutt
Janis Strutt

Co-Founder & Executive Director
Board of Directors, Treasurer

Janis was fortunate to have Morgan enriching her life for 16 years. Embracing a family with two daughters, one with special needs, was a natural choice. Navigating the challenges of raising a daughter with special needs provided invaluable life lessons. Through shared struggles with other families facing similar challenges, Janis became resolute in her mission to support others on similar journeys. Despite thorough preparations such as guardianship, special needs trust, and financial planning, the unexpected loss of Morgan revealed unforeseen expenses and impacts. This nonprofit endeavor not only honors Morgan’s memory but also serves as a testament to Janis’s commitment to assisting families in similar situations. In addition to her personal connection, Janis brings a wealth of experience in business ownership, management, and marketing to the nonprofit.

Liam Gilhooly
Liam Gilhooly

Board of Directors, Board Member

I’m an estate planning attorney with Wilson Law Group, based here in Madison. But I’m not your typical lawyer. Alongside planning for life’s inevitabilities – death and taxes, I’m on a mission to make a real difference in the lives of families, especially those with children who have disabilities.

When I’m not busy crafting legal strategies, you’ll likely find me at the ballpark, cheering on the Brewers or the White Sox, or cruising through the streets on my rollerblades, soaking in the beauty of Madison. I’m also a passionate cyclist, exploring the city’s bike paths whenever the weather permits.

Beyond that, I’m honored to play a role in making a positive impact in our community by serving on the board of directors for Morgan’s Caring Connection because it’s a cause close to my heart.

So whether you’re in need of estate planning assistance or simply want to chat about the latest baseball game, I’m here to help. Let’s navigate the legal landscape together while enjoying life’s simple pleasures along the way.

Chrissy King
Chrissy King

Board of Directors, Board Member

Chrissy has dedicated the past two decades to volunteering, showcasing her diverse skills in various roles. From active participation in multiple PTOs to spearheading numerous events across the Verona school district, including a longstanding commitment to the Verona Softball Club Board, Chrissy has been deeply involved. Currently, she lends her expertise to the Verona Education Foundation Board. Excitedly, she joins the Morgan Caring Connection, having witnessed Morgan’s remarkable journey from her daughter’s class through their time in the Verona School system. With two decades of event planning under her belt, Chrissy brings invaluable experience to the board’s event actions team. Alongside her volunteer work, Chrissy serves as the Client Engagement Manager at Ignite Wellness Partners.
Liam Gilhooly
Casey Collins, CFP

Board of Directors, Board Member

Casey Collins is a Board Member for Morgan’s Caring Connection because he strongly believes in the mission of helping families in difficult times of need. One of the most impactful things Casey did early on in life was to serve in the buddy tutoring program at his elementary school. In Casey’s hometown of Eau Claire, it was the primary school for children and students with special needs and was the first “accessible playground” in the United States. A very impactful experience was being part of the program in which Casey was paired with these students and would often spend recess time along with the “buddy” you were paired with in the special education area of the school.

Casey very much learned the challenges these families and students faced and developed great empathy for these circumstances. Casey has also been involved with the Arc of Dane County as a volunteer in the past. More recently, Casey has focused his volunteer efforts on endeavors that he finds more personally rewarding, and this organization fits that paradigm.

Professionally, Casey is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ & independent financial advisor with LPL Financial.  He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance, Investments, and Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business with distinction.

Over the years, he’s been an active member of his community with Hoofer Sailing Club, Lyme Disease Association, Membership Chair for Rotary After Hours of Madison, and a panelist for the Wisconsin Technology Council Governor’s Business Plan contest.

Casey enjoys sailing, windsurfing, hiking, fishing and hunting. When not working, Casey plays guitar and bass in several musical endeavors. He currently resides downtown Madison.