D Dennison’ Daughter Honored by the Child Advocacy Center: 4 Months After Her Passing, Ashley is Still Remembered![PICTURES]
The Child Advocacy Center has been a friend of K99 for years, they have become an extended part of our radio family. My daughter recognized their power in the community and fought for her peers in high school to know more about this vital entity.
...is to reduce trauma to children and their families through a comprehensive response to child abuse.Our vision is to eliminate child abuse through prevention and education. Where we cannot, all victims will receive comprehensive and compassionate services from an effective team of professionals.
Ashley wanted to become more involved in the community and at Rocky Mountain High School, already a peer with the Connections Club, (a club that works closely with the special needs students to enrich their high school life, including day to day activities and special events, like chaperoning them to homecoming or outings like bowling) she wanted to do more. After talking with me about the possibilities, I asked her about her interests and what was important to her. Ashley told me that she wanted all children to have a good life and to know that they were loved. I reminded her about the great work being done at the Child Advocacy Center and it was a no brainer, that is where she wanted to dedicate her energy.
Starting a club in high school is not an easy task. You have to have a sponsor and present your cause and how it will positively affect the Rocky/high school community. Once you have a sponsor you have to get the school to approve, then there is naming your club. She struggle a little with this and she got turned down a couple of times, but she kept fighting. Finally, she came up with "Voices Carry", with a little help from her mother of the 80's. And her club was born. She organized bake sales, outing's for her club members, craft projects and went to the Child Advocacy Center to clean toys and help organize. They loved to made holiday themed crafts to hang on the staircase bannister, such as a string of hearts for Valentines Day. Her last project for the house was painted bandana's with her club name and words of encouragement like hope, love, peace and happiness.
The center never failed to appreciate her while she was alive and they continue to amaze me since her death. At a Child Advocacy Center breakfast at the Hilton yesterday morning they presented my James and I with a plaque, honoring Ashley. They actually made two,one will hang in the waiting room at the house and the other is for us to place in our home. And if that weren't enough, the plaque was presented to us by a group of Ashley's peers from Rocky Mountain High School who continue to remind fellow students of Ashley's cause.
The Rocky Mountain High School Students Have Been Holding a Change Fundraiser:
So our change drive has been all week in the commons at school at lunch with students from our little group alternating with the table everyday. We have a jar with Colton and Ashley's picture on it and another jar in student services. At the end of the week, we will split the money equally in half, and half with go to football boosters for Colton and half will go to CAC for Ash. The miracle minute on Friday is at the football game, for one minute we will run up and down the rows of the student section with our jars and collect change. The group that was at breakfast plans on going into CAC soon and volunteering with stuff that they said they need help with.
-Julie Stiewig, student
Ashley and Colton shared their love for life and their kindnesses with most everyone they met. We got a note from a girl who was sitting in the hallway(s) of Rocky at lunch time when Ashley came around the corner, Ashley asked her if she wanted to have lunch with her, the girl declined and in this note to us said, " I wish I had said yes". Colton helped many as well with his humor and light approach to thing's, one woman wrote us and said he had made all the difference in the world to her son who was new to Rocky, she said Colton made a difficult time for her son easier, she went on to say there wasn't a day her son didn't come home and tell her jokes that Colton had shared with him or something silly Colton had done.
I know that every parent can brag, and I encourage you to do more of it everyday. Love your babies, hug them and remind them how special they are-which I'm sure that you already do-just keep doing it, even when you have a bad day.