Saturday morning was filled with both tears and smiles at Phillippi Estate Park where families gathered to remember children who have passed away.
The Compassionate Friends Sarasota fifth annual Loved Ones Remembered Walk In The Park gathered members to think about the good times of thier child's lives during a morning with perfect weather.
The chapter is headed up by Vivian Kehrer of Sarasota, who lost her son Eddie Philip Meyer Jr., to a car accident on his way to hockey practice in Clinton, N.Y., on Dec. 11, 1979. He was 16.
Folks wore stickers featuring the names of who they were walking for as they took a lap around the park, concluding the event with a white dove release by Sarasota Dove Release.
Kelly Osborn, mother of Sheena Morris, spoke at the event Saturday to help offer support. Morris was found hung in a gruesome scene at a Bradenton Beach hotel on Jan. 1, 2009, and on Oct. 12, police reopened the case to see if foul play was involved.
"I know there are so many places where we feel like outcasts. We feel like we can't even mention our child's name because people try to get away from us so quickly," Morris said. "This is a really great chance for us to say their names, go ahead and talk about them in the present tense and all these crazy things we do when we see a butterfly coming around thinking our child is visiting us."
The Compassionate Friends
The Sarasota Chapter, which also serves Bradenton, meets the second Monday of the month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the home of Vivian Kehrer in north Sarasota. To join and for directions, call 941-365-4230.