Family wants public to remember Jared Kellner's life, not tragic death
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE – Three years have passed since a section of a parking garage killed Jared Kellner, 15.
Each year, at 4:01 p.m., his family and friends visit a small cross outside O’Donnell Park, feet from the spot where Kellner died.
Each year, they’re haunted by the silence. The sense of loss.
Not this time.
“People think we come because this is where his life ended,” exclaimed Rebecca Steffes, Kellner’s longtime friend.
“This is not what defines him.”
This year, Jared’s mother Dawn decided to show the world how her son lived.
Bullied as a child, Jared Kellner helped others through similar struggles.
Dawn maintains her son even talked a friend out of taking her own life.
"She came to me and told me 'I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your son, because he never turned away from me,' ” Kellner said.
The family launched an anti-bullying campaign to spread Jared’s message. Friends pledged their support with signatures and bracelets honoring Kellner’s legacy.
“"He was a good friend, and I'm going to take part in keeping his dream true, and treat everyone equal," said friend Beckett Blanchard.
The family is working on setting up an organization for the cause.
Dawn Kellner, with the help of Jared’s friends, has also set up a Facebook page for the group.