A Walk to Remember

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Mother of Angels members Jackie Kessler, Taym Schafer, Marne Neiger, and Erin Henning gather in front of the Wylie Park pavilion, where their largest event, A Walk to Remember, is held each year.

Mothers Of Angels Turn Heartache Into Healing

Mothers of Angels is a local organization serving families in Aberdeen and all over the country who are suffering from miscarriage and infant loss. The group formed informally in 2012, when a handful of area women began meeting over coffee to form a support network and share their similar experiences. Group Coordinator Marne Neiger of Mina says the founders quickly realized that they wanted to honor the memories of their own children by helping other grieving families in the community. They decided to begin raising money in hopes of being able to provide Aberdeen hospitals with memory boxes, keepsakes filled with various items meant to bring comfort, that could be given out to patients in need.

That was four years ago, and today the women in Mothers of Angels still manage to turn their heartache into healing by giving to others. Thanks to their volunteered time and fundraising efforts, they now supply memory boxes to hospitals not only in Aberdeen but also in Watertown, Madison, Mobridge, Milbank, and Pierre as well as Winona, Montevideo, Ortonville and Willmar, Minnesota. According to Marne, being able to provide small hospitals with memory boxes is a gift the organization is very proud to be able to give. “We like to sign up to donate to hospitals in small towns and give our memory boxes to help women and families where a care program might not already be in place for their situation.”

In addition to working with hospitals, Mothers of Angels also mails out memory boxes by referral to any location in North America. Over the years, they have sent out about 180 boxes to families and hospitals. The organization also continues with their cause to help grieving mothers by connecting them to local professional photographers who provide free “Now I Lay me Down to Sleep” hospital photos, “Gowns for Angels” burial gowns by Darda Schneider in Britton, and “Angel Albums” scrapbooks by Rebecca Hanson in Madison. The group members meet as needed to assemble memory boxes, plan fundraisers and provide support to one another.

On October 8th, Mothers of Angels will host its fourth annual A Walk to Remember event at Wylie Park. This free event is open to the public and anyone wishing to remember a loved one or support a loved one is welcome to attend. A Walk to Remember starts out at 12:30pm with a silent auction at the Wylie Park Pavilion where anywhere from 50-75 items will be up for bid. Games, bouncy houses, and a duck pond will also be set up for the kids from 12:30-2:00pm. At 2:30 the day concludes with a short walk around Wylie Lake and a remembrance ceremony to follow. Families can place their infants’ names on flags to be displayed and read aloud during this ceremony. In past years around 150 to 200 people have participated in A Walk to Remember and many local businesses sponsor the fundraiser. Proceeds from the event go to supplies needed for making and distributing memory boxes.

Marne describes the fellowship and purpose of the walk by saying, “Some of the people come to the event every year and it is the only time we see each other. It is a way for everyone to come to together to heal, connect and remember.” // – Jenny Roth

For more information on Mothers of Angels and A Walk to Remember, you can contact Marne Neiger at 605-228-4441 or email [email protected].