Peanut's Walk for Life
We realize that this letter is a little late in coming, but our family would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all of you who have supported the Peanut Walk in the past. The walk was suggested after Theresa's death in 2001 by Sandi Engelking, Cristi Carey and some of Theresa's other close friends as a way to create something positive out of a personal tragedy. We felt that this walk would help us cope with Theresa's death and assist our healing process. Over the following eight years, the walk has been a huge success and has also created a ripple effect that we never anticipated. We would like to share some of this information with you.
Thanks to your generosity we have been able to donate over $55,000 to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists' Victim Assistance Fund. The financial consequences to innocent victims of DUI crashes can be devastating. Your money has been used to help families meet their mortgage payments and pay their utility and food bills until they can get back on their feet after a DUI crash.
The cash raffle has also earned enough money to establish a perpetual Peanut Scholarship at Wauconda High School. The funds are now managed by the Rotary Club of Wauconda and a $1000 scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating Senior who demonstrates dedication and service to Wauconda High School or the local community through activities, attitudes and conduct and who best exemplifies Theresa's warmth, enthusiasm and concern for others. The recipient's name is also engraved on a scholarship plaque that is on display in the school hall.
Since its inception in 2001, several other families have been inspired by the Peanut Walk and have started fundraising events to support AAIM. There are now two other annual walks and a motorcycle run as well as a golf outing, a picnic and a folk concert.
This past year Mike Morris of JJ Twigs Pizza Pub in Wauconda purchased a bus (see picture) which he uses to pick up and drop off patrons who eat and drink at his establishment so they don't drink and drive. He calls it the We Care Bus. He has placed photos of Theresa on the outside of this bus with an inscription that reads "In loving memory of Theresa 'Peanut' Stanley who was killed by a drunk driver in 2001."
Just this past summer a lovely woman from the Senior Center held a flea market in the township parking lot and donated the proceeds to the food pantry and AAIM in memory of Theresa.
In the last few years, our family and Theresa's friends have become involved in many other activities and have found it increasingly difficult to devote the preparation time that the Peanut Walk requires. After serious soul searching, we decided that the Peanut Walk had served its intended purpose and we would no longer hold the walk.
Although we have decided not to continue the Peanut Walk, both of us remain active with AAIM. Chet is on the Board of Directors and is currently the Treasurer. Cathy works part time for AAIM as the Director of their Court Watch program. Through a grant from IDOT, she and some amazing volunteers monitor seven court houses in Cook, Lake, McHenry and DuPage Counties. The purpose of this program is to determine why Illinois ranks fourth in the nation in repeat DUI offenders and to implement a program to reduce these numbers.
In closing, from the bottom of our hearts we thank each and every one of you for your past support. If you would like to continue supporting these worthy causes you can send your donation to AAIM at Woodfield Grove Suite 131, 870 Higgins Road, Schaumburg, Illinois, 60173 and the Peanut Scholarship c/o Wauconda High School, 555 North Main Street, Wauconda, Illinois, 60084 in Peanuts memory.
Together we ARE making a difference.
The Stanley Family