‘I knew Dani was there’

5K in honor of domestic violence victim happens Saturday

Courtesy Photo A group photo of all who participated in the 5K Fun/Run Walk in memory of Dani Klein. She was killed in a domestic violence incident in the summer of 2016.

ATLANTA — On Saturday, anti-domestic violence advocates will host a 5K Fun Run/Walk in memory of Dani Klein, who was killed by her abuser in the summer of 2016.

October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Klein was shot and killed by Eric Shay in Hillman. Following a domestic violence incident, Klein left Shay, and he was subsequently arrested over the incident. There was a no-contact order, but it was dismissed after the case was adjudicated.

With the no-contact order dismissed, Klein was dropping off the 22-month-old child the couple shared when Shay shot and killed her before killing himself. The child was uninjured in the incident.

In honor of Klein, a 5K has taken place the last two years in Atlanta, and this year marks the third year her life will be celebrated while raising funds to support domestic violence awareness as well as victims.

Proceeds from the race will go to Hope Shores Alliance and local initiatives, as well.

Katie Dahlgren, Klein’s cousin, is aiding in the organization of the run. Dahlgren said she was Klein’s 4-H leader when Klein was a child, and Klein had a great love of horses. Dahlgren said they decided to use some of the funds to donate to the Montmorency 4-H horse arena.

She said the first year was very difficult, but they have continued on the journey to raise awareness and help support the victims of domestic violence.

“I will do this until I can’t do it anymore,” Dahlgren said.

During the first year, she said the weather was cloudy and very cold, but, when the first runner stepped over the starting line, the sun started to shine.

“I knew Dani was there,” Dahlgren said.

Registration is still open, and it is $20 to run. T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign in will start at 9 a.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Pettinger Road in Atlanta. The official 5K will start at 10 a.m.

Statewide, there were 92,823 victims of domestic violence in varying categories during 2016, according to Michigan Incident Crime Reporting data. There were 39 victims in Alcona County, 250 in Alpena County, 43 in Montmorency County and 56 in Presque Isle County.

Dahlgren said she knows the victims are very strong, they just need to know it and receive the necessary help to get away from their abusers.

“People need to be aware of what is going on around them,” Dahlgren said. “We need to help people.”

If you go

∫ WHAT: 5K Fun Run/Walk in Memory of Dani Klein

∫ WHEN: Saturday Oct. 13 at 9 a.m.

∫ COST: $20

∫ WHERE: VFW Post 9489 located at 11761 Pettenger Road in Atlanta