Our very first Baby Steps Walk to Remember was a labor of love and dedication, created in just under three weeks. It was held on Saturday, October 5th, 2013, on a warm, sunny yet cloudy afternoon in Sherwood Park, Alberta. We started inside at Festival Place with registration, time for families to explore the activity tables, then we had our opening remarks and our guest speaker, Alexis Marie Chute, who gave a moving talk about her own journey through baby loss, with a sprinkling of hope for all. After her presentation, we then ventured outside to enjoy a walk in the sun, stopping along the Baby Steps path to observe and remember each baby name. The walk looped around the east side of the lake and came back to the Peace Park, where we then read out each name, ringing a bell to acknowledge each life, while families sent bubbles up to the sky. It was a moving tribute and we are so thankful for the weather that cooperated so nicely.
After the baby name readings, we ventured back inside for closing remarks and then we all enjoyed some lovely cupcakes and juice. Families visited and shared their stories and then the day was over. All of us are so happy with the planning experience and how wonderful the Baby Steps Walk to Remember went for it’s first year. We have so many to thank:
- BriarPatch Centre for Grieving Families and the H.E.A.R.T.S. Baby Loss Support Program ~ provided direction, support, promotion, the tiny silver angels, staff and volunteers. Our engaged and supportive Board of Directors: Matt, Cori, Sharon, Terri, Sandi, Nadine, Alicia, Jen and Shawna.
- Tyleen ~ for our amazing shirts for our team to wear so families knew who to go to.
- Festival Place ~ for providing a wonderful venue, sound system, staff and set up.
- County of Strathcona ~ for permission to have a Memorial Walk and for being able to write the names in chalk along the path.
- Alexis Marie Chute ~ for delivering a moving account of her own grief journey.
- Shawna Jago ~ for creating our logo, all the graphics, signs and posters.
- Jago Family ~ for hanging signs at the park (James), kids tattoos (Kaitlyn), activity tables set up (Alyssa) and timely comic relief (Dawson).
- Trina McCartney ~ for the beautiful chalk writing and helping with set up.
- Chelsey Sharp ~ for the beautiful chalk writing and for leading our Baby Steps Walk.
- Martha Gable ~ for helping to set up and helping families participate in all activities.
- Kristin Heimbecker ~ for greeting our families at the Registration Table.
- Tammy Kechen ~ for greeting our families at the Registration Table.
- Suzy Potts ~ for the incredible, yummy cupcakes. And Harper for helping out too!
- For the Swonek and Johnson families for lending a hand to help set up.
- Our photographers, Diego and Adina, who captured so many precious moments.
Bill Roberts (CelticRaine Productions) for videoing the day.
Chynna Roberts for setting up, helping out and making sure we had beautiful music.
Our donors included the following:
- The Johnson family, in loving memory of Faith Ellen Johnson.
- The Jago family, in loving memory of Jacob Alexander Jago.
- The Ritter family, in loving memory of Avery Deanne Hiscock.
- The family of Ethan Alexander, in loving memory.
- The Roberts family, in loving memory of Bretton-Elijah Lucas Roberts, Ciara-Rose Kennedi Roberts and six tiny Roberts babies.
- A number of donations came in that were anonymous. Thank you for contributing!
- Gloria from Butterfly Wings N’ Wishes for the beautiful butterfly cards.
- Neil (manager) and Kirk (assistant manager) from the Hawkstone Sobey’s in Edmonton donated all the water and juice for our celebration.
- Ray from Blue Chip Wealth Strategies in Red Deer provided all the ingredients for the cupcakes that Suzy and her daughter Harper made for us.
- Crimpz in Sherwood Park for the ribbons and jump rings to make our Angel tags.
- Everyone who donated a beautiful Teddy Bear (or more!) to be provided to newly bereaved families, who will go home with broken hearts but not empty arms. We collected more than 60 bears this year.
To keep the Baby Steps Walk to Remember moving, we will continue to accept donations all year and Teddy Bears as well. If you’d like to contribute, just send us a note.
We all look forward to the 2nd Annual Baby Steps Walk to Remember in 2014. Watch our page for updates as they become available!