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Brooke Ridenour - Artist, Tracie Martin, Erin's House - Everyday Star (H-13)

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H-13

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Brooke Ridenour, Student Artist
Angola High School

Tracie Martin
Everyday Star

When Erin Farragh, not yet six years old, died suddenly in 1989, it sent her family reeling from the shock.  As her parents, David and Gail, grieved the loss of their young daughter they struggled to find support for Erin’s younger siblings, Tony and Megan.  Close family friend, Tracie Martin, saw the pain, the fear and loneliness that comes with grieving, and felt compelled to act.  In October 1993, Tracie opened Erin’s House for Grieving Children in memory of her young friend.  Located in Fort Wayne, Erin’s House is the first of its kind in Indiana.  It is a non-profit facility that provides a safe, nurturing environment for children and teens to process their grief.  They learn to express emotions, share feelings, and reinvest in their own lives.  Tracie instinctively knew that unresolved grief can have a devastating effect on an entire community.  She spearheaded a team that developed cost-free support and education programs that include in-school peer support; crisis response teams; camps; telephone support; books; and community presentations.  Thanks to Tracie and her highly-trained team of facilitators at Erin’s House, over 10,000 individuals have been helped since 1993.

The comfort and healing expressed in outreached hands is indicative of Tracie Martin’s perceptive and gracious nature.