What started with families honoring children they had lost, has grown into an annual festival to help the community.
Eleven years ago, Robin Tolstad lost her 16 year old daughter in a car wreck.
“Jenna was a person who believed in, ‘Live for today. Live for now. And don’t sell yourself short,” says Robin Tolstad, Angel PLAN Chairperson.
Tolstad wasn’t alone. Other families in the area had lost children as well. They wanted to honor their memories with a Christmas Box Angel, so they put together a community festival and it was a hit.
“So many of the people that attended it said that it made them feel so good and it gave them hope,” says Tolstad.
So they held another festival, this time for a new concession building. Now, they are fundraising to build a path along the highway so residents have a safe place to walk.
“I just run around town and I don’t like being seen by a lot of people outside their houses running, so I just like the walking path a lot, because it gives you a lot of privacy and you can go at your own pace.”
I am currently standing near the beginning of the future walking path, which will extend another two miles behind me, but before they can start building on this project, they’re going to have to fundraise $800,000.
“It’s a long process, it’s expensive. So, I mean we knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight,” says Tolstad.
Tolstad says her daughter was extremely involved in the community, and she would have been all about the festival.
“That was what she liked, was to be able to get out there and encourage people to shoot for the stars and just live,” says Tolstad.
Projects of Love Among Neighbors.
You can help fund the project by making a check to Angel PLAN at 375 4th St. E Westhope, ND 58793.