Monday marks the one year anniversary of the death of a 9-year-oldSilver Lake, Minnesota girl who died while riding an ATV. Sunday night, the family of the young victim, Mileka Hall, is making final plans for a memorial run that will take place next weekend.
An example of who Mileka hall was, during Christmas one year Mileka's school has Christmas stores in-house. Mileka found out a friend didn't have any money to buy anything, so she took her own money and gave it to the little girl. It is that compassion the family hopes carries on in this scholarship they are raising money for.
"Mileka had an unforgettable smile and a heart of compassion like no other," said her mother Joanna. "She loved little kids, she had a nurturing spirit, she loved to be the mom of all her little cousins."
The memories of her daughter's life are still fresh for Joanna. "It was the best day ever" that Mother's Day weekend 2011. The Hall family was at a relative's for a party when Mileka decided to get behind the wheel of an ATV for the very first time.
"She had talked about four-wheelers a lot, I don't know why, and somehow she was able to talk someone into driving the four-wheeler. She did, and she was having a blast -- I'm sure," her mother lamented.
While she was driving it, Mileka ended up rolling the machine, dying a few hours later from a head injury. She was not wearing a helmet.
In 2011, 15 Minnesotans died in ATV accidents. A few years back, the FOX 9 Investigators profiled the potential for injury on the machines, showing dramatic examples of what canhappen to a dummy on an ATV.
Sunday at the hall'shome, there are every day reminders of the little girl that was takentoo soon. Memorials Joanna hopes other families don't have to build.
"Kids, if you are out there, make sure you ask permission. Always tell your parents where you are going and wear a helmet -- biking, four-wheeling, anything like that. It's so important because it just takes that one accident and that can be it. Take those precautions, it could save your life," warned Joanna.
On this one year anniversary, the Halls are carrying on Mileka's legacy of integrity, kindness and compassion through a scholarship in her name.
A few years back, Joanna took up running. Mileka had been a fan ofher mother's running since the very beginning, so the family came up witha 5K memorial run to raise money for the scholarship. It'll start at Silver Lake Park, and fittingly, it'll be held on Mother's Day.
"That's the weekend she passed away, and it's just it's my way of just being connected with her that day -- that she'll always be with me," said Joanna.
The Halls say they expected 200 people for the run, but they already have 600 people who have signed up.
For more information on the run orhow to donate to the scholarship visit http://www.glencoemn.org/event/mileka-5k-runwalk/
To register for the run/walk visit http://www.mmshealthycommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/milekarunreg.pdf
Donations of cash or check only can be sent to:
JoAnnaHall c/o Mileka Run; PO Box 55; Silver Lake MN55381