Monday, July 5, 2010

All hands on deck…please

Because this is important.

Madison Walters is 7 years old. I have never met her and never even heard of her until this past weekend.

Even though I don’t know her, I’d imagine she’s lived her life as a fairly typical northwestern Ohio girl, playing, laughing, perhaps picking on her 4 year old little brother every now and then. Maybe watching her dad, a long distance runner, go out for a run. That is at least up until June 5th.

You might remember I wrote to you all on June 6th about that night. It was the night I spent huddled in my basement with my husband and my girls with tornado sirens blazing, slightly terrified. It is Michigan after all, not your typical hotbed for extreme weather. In fact, in the 4 years I’ve lived in this house, I’ve never heard those sirens until that night. The same night that would drastically change Madison’s life.

She, her brother and her parents were asleep in their home upstairs when the tornado hit. It ripped the second story off of her house and leveled it to the foundation. Tragically, Madison’s mother and her brother Hayden were killed, while Madison and her father were taken to the hospital to treat their injuries. About a week later, Madison would be released from the hospital, but not her father. His injuries were too severe. He died in the hospital.


I heard about Madison on Sunday on a local radio station. While Madison’s immediate needs have been taken care of by her extended family and a giving community, a number of radio stations have joined together with 5/3 Bank to set up a fund to take care of her future living expenses and college.

Times are tough now, this I know. But this father, he was one of us, a runner. Like you and me, I’m sure on his long runs he imagined what life would be like for his children. Who would they grow up to be? What would they become? How could he help them achieve their dreams and grow up to be the best they can be? But just like that. In a matter of seconds, he’s gone.

Please. Let’s not let the dreams he had for his daughter go with him. We all know life is not easy and while certainly no one will be able to replace the loss of her family, perhaps we can do our part to help her carry on the dreams of her father. If you are at all able, even if it’s just $5-$10, please consider making a contribution to Madison’s fund that she may go on to be just that young woman her mother and father imagined she one day would be. Please send your donations to:

5/3 Bank

3559 W Sterns Rd

Lambertville MI 48144

Checks should be made out to Madison Walters. Please also include a note that says for the Madison Walters Cumulus College Fund. You can also drop your donations off in person at any 5/3 in Northwestern Ohio or Southeastern Michigan (from Monroe to the border) if you happen to live in the area.

'Til next time...

P.S. Here’s some more links on Madison’s story:

Toledo Blade

Statement from Madison Walter’s extended family

K100 Cumulus College Fund

1 comment:

Angela said...

This breaks my heart. I wish I could give money, I can't right now but I will pray for her and those taking care of her. Poor baby. So sad.