Our Team


The Board Members

Our board is a collective of five local women dedicated to aiding District 110 students who wish to participate in locally driven activities.


Khuzana DeVaan, President


Betsy Nothom, Secretary

Erin Weppner, Treasurer


Linnea Brown, Board Representative


Jill Schmit, Board Representative

All donations go directly to serving and supporting the families and children in Waconia schools.  Any additional costs incurred in fundraising is paid directly by our board members, who are passionate about giving back.   

founded by laura cowley

In 2010, Laura founded Backyard Wishes, a non-profit designed to aid local families and their children in need.

Since it’s launch, the organization has been dedicated to supporting Waconia’s School District 110 families, who are financially in need or facing other struggles through donations.

The understanding of such situations is natural. “I’ve been there” are words Laura has shared with countless families Backyard Wishes has connected with. Many years ago, Laura and her husband, Dermot, were experiencing lean times as they pursued the first of their businesses.

“One day, a week before Christmas, two gentlemen showed up with garbage bags filled with toys for sons Jake and Connor, it was just the most amazing thing. It just made Christmas.”

Later that year, Laura’s father paid her sons’ sport fees, and she made a mental note that once her family was on the other side of struggle, they would do in kind for other families in need. Backyard Wishes is the reality of Laura’s promise.