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Board of Directors

Ellen (President and Founder) and Steve Tomczyk (Director and Founder)
Email Ellen or Steve:
Steve and Ellen Tomczyk were looking for a way to get through the day on the first anniversary of their sons death. They thought if they had a get together and asked people to bring a new toy to take to the hospital that might somehow make the day not so awful.People say when your low do something for others and it won’t be as bad. That’s all we were trying to do. At the end of the gathering some 400 toys later, we knew something special was in our future. 12,000 toys and 5 hospitals later we feel some comfort in knowing our son continues to touch so many on a daily basis. Though Cole is not in our loving arms or running around the house, we feel blessed to be surrounded by his memory every day through Cole’s Closet and are forever grateful for all those people who have helped make Cole’s Closet possible and a huge success. It’s not the hand that’s dealt to you, it’s what you do with the cards.

Brenda Davis – Vice-President
Email Brenda:
Brenda and Ellen have been friends since kindergarten. Witnessing first-hand the great sense of connection and comfort to children and families facing uncertain futures that Ellen and Steve developed through Cole’s Closet created a strong impetus to rally with help. Brenda is able to utilize her retail connections and marketing strategies as the Director of Retail Marketing for Vornado/Charles E. Smith to contribute to Cole’s Closet events and fundraisers.

Le-Ha Anderson – Secretary
Email Le-Ha:
Le-Ha became involved with Cole’s Closet in 2000 when she, along with fellow employees at Dominion Virginia Power began a toy drive to collect new toys for children who are hospitalized. Three years later, her involvement with the organization became very personal. Her second daughter was born with several medical conditions requiring hospitalization. The Tomczyk family became a great source of support for her and her family and Cole’s Closet brought comfort to both her children. She joined the board of directors in 2004. Le-Ha is the manager for Media and Community Relations for Dominion Resources Services. She is active in the community with organizations such as the Fairfax Partnership for Youth, Emerging Leaders Institute of Leadership Fairfax, the Vienna Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, Celebrate Fairfax, and the Arts Councilof Fairfax County. Le-Ha is married to Steve and has two daughters.

Andrew Ehlers – Treasurer
Email Andrew:
Andrew and Ellen’s families have been close friends for over 30 years, and he was honored to join the Cole’s Closet board in 2015.  Andrew is a retired naval officer who works for the federal government.  He and his wife Cynthia have two school age daughters.

Chip Gilliland – Toy Director
Email Chip:
Chip first met Steve and Ellen on the softball field where they played Co-Ed softball for St John’s Lutheran Church . Several years later Steve became a lineman at Dominion Virginia Power where Chip is employed. After the tragedy of Cole’s passing, Ellen asked Chip to coordinate a toy drive at Dominion. The outpouring of support from Dominion was amazing, and they collected hundreds of toys in their first toy drive. Ellen asked Chip to join the Board in 2002. Through his work at Cole’s Closet, he was selected Volunteer of the Year at Dominion in 2004. He was also nominated in 2004 for the Fairfax County Volunteer of the Year. Chip’s wife, Barb and two daughters Paige and Abby are also very active in Cole’s Closet. It is truly an honor and privilege to work with Cole’s Closet and the Tomzcyk family as we strive to make a difference in children’s lives.

Medical Advisory Board: Mike Fernandez & Beatrice Runkle

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