‘Grief, memory, and love,’ DUI Victims Center holds candlelight vigil to remember victims

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Since 1989, the DUI Victims Center of Kansas held a candlelight vigil to honor the lives lost to drunk driving.

Grief, memory, and love are what the three candles signify at the candlelight vigil. Three elements that impact every person in that room.

“We have a community of people that share a very unique experience. A very unique tragedy, and so just the comfort of gathering in community and doing that on an annual basis brings respect and dignity to their loved ones and it’s comforting,” Jacqueline Cook Green, executive director for the DUI Victims Center of Kansas, explained.

Whitney Kallenbach says she works with the Victim Center, but she also is the daughter of a drunk driving victim.

“Helping other families and speaking to offenders of DUIs has really shown me the good in what I can do to help others through this situation as well.”

For Janelle Jones, this was her first time attending the vigil.

“On March 11, 2020, I lost my daughter. She ended up drowning in the River due to her father’s DUI.”

Jones says the DUI Victims Center has been vital to her ever since.

“Just to be able to talk to people and share feelings and maybe how to understand and cope with things.”

Green says the DUI Victims Center of Kansas is the only comprehensive program for families of those lost due to drunk driving in the Wichita and Sedgwick County area.

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