Family and friends gathered at Jeffco’s Courthouse April 30 to honor loved ones whose lives were cut short by violent crime.
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Family and friends gathered at Jeffco’s Courthouse April 30 to honor loved ones whose lives were cut short by violent crime. Some brought balloons and bouquets or wore t-shirts with photos and names of those they had lost.
The mother, sister and step-mom of Jordan Sprouse have come to the event for several years. Sprouse, an 18-year-old about to graduate from high school, was killed in a fatal vehicle crash caused by a reckless, intoxicated driver who purposely ran a red light, smashing into Sprouse’s vehicle.
Sprouse’s mom, Jessie Ackerman, said the Courage Walk allows victims to get to know others who are going through the same type of circumstances.
“They understand the loss of a child or someone they love,” she said. “It’s hard to go through a process like that when somebody was responsible for it and isn’t even remorseful.”
It’s a club no one wants to be a part of. But former Public Information Officer for the First Judicial District Pam Russell said the gatherings help to give victims strength and know they’re not alone. Russell has taken part in the event for years. She said some families show up faithfully each year to keep the memory of victims alive and offer support to those in need.
Several advocate groups, support services and law enforcement agencies also were in attendance, with booths offering information on resources.
Nicole Lopez, guest services coordinator for PorchLight, a family justice center, said her organization was there to reach survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, crimes against children, elder abuse, at-risk individual abuse and human trafficking in the community.
Speaking to the crowd, outgoing Jeffco Sheriff Jeff Shrader said the walk signified the courage for family members left behind and for those (victims) to come.
“It’s courage to take on the next day, courage to take on the next thing and courage to take the next step,” he said.
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