After Tragedy, Five Moms Rebuild
ELLEN KNELL, 54
KELLY YEATES, 42
ALICE PENNELS, 57
CINDY BLOUNT, 59
Park City, Utah
One by one, five Park City mothers were struck by heartbreak. First Alice Pennels' son Mike, 19, died in his sleep of unknown causes in February 2008. Then, in April, Cindy Blount's daughter Connie, 18, was killed in a hit-and-run. By fall three more young people in the small town of 8,000 lost their lives: Kaye Knoop's son Matt, 20, was hit by a car; Kelly Yeates' son Chris, 18, fell to his death while hiking; and Ellen Knell's daughter Erica, 17, died in a car accident. "We all felt so alone," says Knell, who wrote to the other moms, asking to meet. "Pulling together was exactly what we needed."
To honor their children, the mothers started the Park City 5 (parkcity5.com), a nonprofit dedicated to building schools for needy kids around the world. With $80,000 raised through 5K races and golf tournaments, they opened their first school in Ecuador in 2009 and began work on a school in Bolivia last year. "None of us wanted our kids to be forgotten," says Knoop. "Through our work, we know that their legacy will be carried on."
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