At Wednesday’s "Scooper Fundraiser" at Shaw Farm in Dracut for the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation, scoopers Brenda Klein, left,
At Wednesday's "Scooper Fundraiser" at Shaw Farm in Dracut for the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation, scoopers Brenda Klein, left, Kelly Ryan and Andrea Walsh parcel out the goods. Courtesy photo

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DRACUT -- Seven months to the day after 6-year-old Joe Middlemiss died, the crowds that packed Shaw Farm to support his family would have given him reason to smile.

Not that the charismatic, perpetually cheerful little boy would have ever needed extra cause to smile.

"The Middlemisses are just very loved, respected people," said Lyndie Shaw, the organizer of a fundraising event in Joe's memory. "But Joe drew people. He just had something about him that people were drawn to him at 6 years old. Every day was the best day of his life, literally."

Joe was born with the congenital heart defect cardiomyopathy and died suddenly in his home Sept. 23.

Joe MiddlemissSun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
Joe Middlemiss

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

On April 23, a Celebrity Scoop Fest at Shaw Farm featured local officials, teachers and celebrated Lowell boxing legend Micky Ward serving up cups of ice cream to benefit the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation.

"That farm never saw so many cars in its life," Shaw said. "We think that this was the absolute biggest event that Dracut's ever seen."

Ice cream sales raised about $3,500 for the foundation, with T-shirt sales bringing in another $3,000.

Shaw said the volunteer-driven event showed an unbelievable outpouring of support, with somewhere between 500 and 700 people showing up.

"People just came in droves," she said. "People were just so overly generous. I would be running through the crowds and people would just be shoving money in my pockets.


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Joe's parents, Scott and Kate Middlemiss, set out after their son's death to spread his legacy of love and kindness through the foundation in his name and mission to spread random acts of kindness.

Their younger son, Jack, born about a month before Joe's death, has the same rare heart disease.

The All You Need Is Love Mission -- named to recognize the young musician's love of the Beatles -- encourages people to spread kind gestures in Joe's memory.

Kali Alexa, of Tyngsboro, has her face painted at the Middlemiss fundraiser by volunteer Sarah Rondeau.	Courtesy photoSSun staff photos can be ordered by
Kali Alexa, of Tyngsboro, has her face painted at the Middlemiss fundraiser by volunteer Sarah Rondeau. Courtesy photoS

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

The foundation is now planning another fundraiser, the Joseph Middlemiss Superhero/Rock 'n' Roll 5K Road Race on Sept. 27. Through the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart foundation, the Middlemiss family aims to support other young aspiring musicians.

"The money they have in that foundation, they're going to use to give other children scholarships and help other families in the same predicament as them," Shaw said. "They've turned a tragic, tragic event in their life into something pretty fabulous in such a short time."

For more information about the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation and September's race, visit http://www.jmbigheart.org. T-shirts supporting the foundation are for sale at Shaw Farm.

Boxing legend Micky Ward, center, with Scott and Kate Middlemiss at Wednesday’s fundraiser at Shaw Farm. Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting
Boxing legend Micky Ward, center, with Scott and Kate Middlemiss at Wednesday's fundraiser at Shaw Farm.

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

Follow Katie Lannan on Twitter and Tout @katielannan.