Saturday June 4, 2016 was Walk For Dom's inaugural fundraising event, and it was a big success. There were approximately 200 walkers and funds raised for this event totaled about $5,000.
Tshirts and buttons were sold for donation and of course regular old donations were accepted as well. The mood was positive as there were lots of hugs and smiles. Just prior to the walk beginning, we had a preacher deliver an inspirational sermon/prayer to unite us all on the mission for greater good.
The walk was great. Weather cooperated and walkers seemed to enjoy the conversation with friends, family, and new acquaintances. It was about a mile long through a shady loop down S Forrest Beach and back to Coligny Plaza, the site where Dom was shot. Around this time, it started to get pretty emotional.
Tables were setup with water and hundreds of small bottles of bubbles were handed out to each participant. The event emcee, Tracee, kept the pace going by rallying everyone together and explaining how the ceremony would progress. She offered open mic to anyone who would like to speak, and Scott Middleton a friend of Rudy who assisted in the organization of the event spoke briefly about the importance of raising funds for the scholarship.
Rudy took over the microphone and as the mother of a son who was taken from her she stood tall at the location of her sons murder, and delivered an incredibly heart felt speech. She spoke of mourning and she spoke of the pain of great loss. And then she spoke of hope and healing as a community. Its a little easier for her when she can see that the whole community feels the burden of sorrow together and that we all have the shared responsibility to make it better, together.
With that, we began the bubble blowing ceremony where Tracee described the significance. You inhale the breathe of life, and you feel your anger or your frustration and your release it by breathing it out into the world and creating a joyful and whimsical bubble. All the while we were asked to send a special message of love to Dom as we watched our bubbles float away.
There were lots of smiles to be seen; light hearted and joyful smiles. The significance of this moment was apparent to those in attendance. We just experienced, as a group, the ability to extinguish anger. Together we can make it a better world, and it all begins with a choice.