Board of Directors
Sweet Pea Project Board of Directors
Because it is important to us that our donation dollars are spent serving bereaved families, everyone who works for Sweet Pea Project volunteers their time to the cause. Please scroll down to meet the individuals who care deeply about this project and our community, and feel free to contact any one of us at any time. Stop by our Volunteer page to meet a few of our dedicated volunteers and check out our current volunteer opportunities.
Stephanie Paige Cole
Founder & President
Jan 2009- Present
Since Madeline's death I have dedicated myself to honoring my daughter's short but precious life by working to improve the way stillbirths are handled at the hospital and in the community. That motivated me to start the Sweet Pea Project, write two books (Still and to linger on hot coals) and work on the film, The Sacred Project.
I am an artist, an activist, and above all, a mother.
My husband and I are the proud parents of five amazing and beautiful children. Our first child, Madeline Jonna, was silently born one week after her due date. We have since brought her four perfect little siblings into the world and each have added more color and joy to our lives than we could ever have imagined was possible.
I have also given hospital presentations about the needs of bereaved parents, created art exhibits that focus on using art as a tool to navigate through grief, and designed creative workshops for bereaved parents. I've met with Senators and State Representatives to urge them to pass legislation to issue a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth in the state of Pennsylvania, and was honored to be present the day the Governor signed our bill into law.
Of course none of this will ever make the death of a child okay, but I'm hoping it will help create a more supportive and compassionate community for the families left behind.
Stephanie was nominated for the MASK Unity Award and placed 3rd in 2013.
She was also finalist in Babble.com's Moms Who Are Changing the World campaign.
Contact Stephanie at Stephanie@sweetpeaproject.org.
Richard I. Cole IV
Jan 2009 - Present
Richy is a proud father of five, including Madeline, the little Sweet Pea who started it all. Richy officially joined the Board of Directors in 2010 to continue supporting his wife and honoring his daughter.
Richy has been working behind the scenes ever since the first blanket was donated. He manages the blanket inventory and takes care of packing and shipping book and blanket boxes for donation to hospitals. Richy also helps out at Community Events. He appreciates the opportunity to meet other bereaved families and make sure the (often overlooked) fathers always have a place in our community.
Aug 2010 - Present
Beth joined the Sweet Pea Project in honor of her son Mark Charles Gauthier, who was stillborn in February of 2007. She is also the mother of two daughters.
Beth met Stephanie soon after Mark's death and the two instantly connected. Beth exhibited a painting in the gallery exhibition of Beauty In The Breakdown during the summer of 2007 and again during the gallery exhibition of five in January 2012, both at Mulberry Art Studios. The piece remains part of the collection in Beauty In The Breakdown's online Community Gallery.
Beth is the event coordinator for Sweet Pea Project's annual children's event, the Sweet Pea Sisters & Brothers Picnic. This picnic brings families together to honor the bond that exists between siblings even after death. Older children and rainbow babies enjoy a day of fun, food, and family friendly entertainment all in remembrance of the sisters and brothers who are no longer here for us to play with.
Beth has also volunteered for Share of Lancaster and was on the planning committee for their Annual Benefit Dinner in 2010.
Contact Beth at Beth@sweetpeaproject.org
Aug 2010 - Present
Nicole joined the Sweet Pea Project in honor of her son Thomas Maximus Jackson, who was stillborn in December of 2009. She also has five daughters.
In the short time since Max's death, Nicole has done an incredible amount of work as an advocate for SB620, the Pennsylvania Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Bill. Nicole has been featured in several television interviews and newspaper articles and thanks in part to her passion, drive and dedication, the bill was finally passed in 2011. Nicole was present when the Governor signed the bill into law and was among the first mothers to receive a birth certificate for her child.
You can view all of her media appearances and learn more about the bill on our Legislation Page.
Nicole is also the event coordinator for Sweet Pea Project's Annual Remembrance Gathering.
Contact Nicole at Nicole@sweetpeaproject.org.
Nov 2011 - Present
Crystal has volunteered for Sweet Pea Project since it first began, and in 2011 she came on as the newest addition to the Board of Directors. Crystal lost two babies to miscarriage before bringing her son Aiden and daughter Julianna into the world.
As the Sweet Pea Project Representative, Crystal is very involved in all aspects of our events and can be found running the info table, answering guest questions and managing volunteers.
Founding Board of Directors
Stephanie Paige Cole
Simone L. Lee