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Stolen Blessings founder hopes to spare others pain of losing loved ones

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Fundraiser to bring anti-drunk-driving message to local schools

By VINCE LUECKE
Editor

PERRY COUNTY – Michelle Sims will always grieve the loss of her husband, Sean, who lost his life to a drunk driver in 2005. Over the years, she struggled with a range of emotions, as do most people who suddenly lose loved ones, but today, nearly eight years after the death of her husband, Sims focuses her time and energy on helping others. She also works to prevent others from suffering similar tragedies.

A March 2 fundraiser will further that effort – and help to educate Perry County’s youth on the dangers of drinking and driving.

Sims created a nonprofit organization, Stolen Blessings, to honor the memory of Sean, who was only 32 when he was killed. He left behind his wife and a then 2-year-old daughter, Delanie.

“I’ve dealt with every emotion conceivable since then but now I want to focus on preventing others from having to go through what I have,” she said.

Her efforts will take form this spring. Chris Sandy and Eric Krug will travel to southern Indiana April 1-3 and will speak to Perry County’s junior-high and high-school students. The two men formed an organization, Enduring Regret, which strives to educate young people on what driving impaired can do: to themselves, their families and the people their actions might impact. Sandy and Krug’s real-life experiences are at the heart of their message.

Sandy was 22 years old in 2003 when he crashed into another vehicle. He was drunk and the crash claimed the lives of two elderly people. He served more than eight years in prison and since his release has spoken to more than 130,000 students in high schools and colleges. Sandy’s brother-in-law, Erick Krug, was the victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Sims said the two men’s message is compelling and will be heard by students.

“I know how powerful their story is,” she said.

In addition to speaking at Perry County schools, the duo will address students in Spencer and Dubois counties. A public meeting will be held that evening at the Ferdinand Community Center.

Watch the News for details of the meeting.

Having formed Stolen Blessings, Sims has maintained a Web site and a Facebook page.

A fundraiser is planned for March 2 in Huntingburg to raise the money needed to bring Sandy and Krug to the area. Held at Reflections, the event will begin with a 5 p.m. social hour and auctions. Dinner will follow at 6:30. All times are Eastern.

Seating is reserved and tickets are $10 each. Checks can be made payable to Stolen Blessings and mailed to 1007 N. Jackson St., Huntingburg, IN 47542. Reservations can also be made online at www. stolenblessings.com or by calling Sims at (812) 608-1066. More information is also available on Facebook under Stolen Blessings. Reservations are needed by Feb. 22.

T-shirts printed at Hauenstein’s in Tell City are also available and include the Stolen Blessings logo.