Media links and other bits

here’s the web address for my KECI newsclip from February 14, 2011
http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/26873240/index.html

Click here if you’d like to read the Michael Moore article in Oct. 26 Missoulian:
http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_89ec7a02-e0be-11df-9b33-001cc4c03286.html

Click here if you’d like to read my own guest column in the Missoulian editorial section.

http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/article_4d4e890c-6da3-11df-bf49-001cc4c002e0.html

Click here if you’d like to see the KECI news video  http://ow.ly/28K24

FROM THE MAYOR OF MISSOULA
Preparing for a marathon is a big deal and I really admire Kimberly’s ambition and her motivation. Honoring Bob Heinle’s life through contributing to the Christopher Reeve Foundation is not only a tribute to Bob and Lisa, but a tribute to Kimberly’s own generous spirit. A marathon’s a long walk, but they all start with a few important steps, and Kimberly’s already taken them.

John Engen
Mayor
City of Missoula
435 Ryman St.
Missoula, Montana 59802
(406) 552-6001

WOMAN HONORS HERO IN WALK
by Michael Moore

If you saw it, you remember it.

Bob Heinle, the Missoula police officer shot by a petty thief in October 1998, is in the middle of Missoulian photographer Linda Thompson’s July 2009 picture, wearing a Team Heinle T-shirt.

His wife, Lisa, is to his right, her left hand on Bob’s wheelchair.  Cooper, Bob’s young service dog, trots along to Bob’s left.

They are crossing the Higgins Avenue Bridge at the end of the Missoula Marathon, which Lisa ran to raise money for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which supports spinal cord research.

I don’t have enough words here to say what Linda’s picture communicates.  But I can think of a few: determination, grit, love, joy, tragedy, triumph.

Like Bob and Lisa, the picture is unforgettable.

Which is a long way of saying Kimberly Dredger remembered it on Feb. 16, the day Bob Heinle was buried.

“I was just thinking about them that morning, and although I didn’t know them and didn’t feel like I could go to the funeral, I wanted to do something in their honor,” said Dredger, a former Missoula schoolteacher.  “And that’s when I remembered that picture of them coming over the bridge.”

Kimberly Dredger is no athlete.  In fact, at 54, she’s carrying a few more pounds than she’d care to.  But that morning, Kimberly made a decision.

She would walk the Missoula Marathon, all 26 miles of it, on July 11, 2010.  And she would walk to raise money for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which benefited from Lisa Heinle’s run in 2009.

“I knew I couldn’t raise the sort of money Lisa did, but I felt like anything I could do would be helpful,” Kimberly said.  But first, she wanted Lisa’s blessing.  She felt a tie to Lisa, thought she’s never met her.

“I was a young widow, too, and I know what it’s like to try to recover from that,” Kimberly said.  “So I wanted to reach out to her, but it felt awkward.  I decided I’d run in Bob’s memory anyway, but I’d feel better if Lisa felt good about it.”

Through someone in the Missoula Police Department, Kimberly got a message to Lisa.

And on March 17, Kimberly posted to her blog, which you can read at run4spinalresearch.wordpress.com:  “As of today, I am an official member of the Team Heinle, Team Reeve marathoners!  I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face from the full sense of awe and joy and also heartbreak that all of  this entails.  Bless you, all of you, for supporting me and my project.”

Kimberly had already made her way to Runner’s Edge, where owner Anders Brooker got her involved with marathon training, and she also reached out to Run Wild Missoula as she started training.

“I started at five miles a week, and right now I’m up to 30 miles a week,” she said.  “We just did our longest walk this weekend, at 12 miles.”

With two months of training and 25 pounds behind her, Kimberly is walking 15-minute miles and hopes to finish the marathon in under seven hours.

“The great thing now in that I know I’m going to make it,” she said.  “I’m going to finish.”

But finishing is not enough.  Kimberly knows she set an outrageous goal for her fundraising, but there’s no harm in that.

“I just feel like I need to give back,” she said.  “Lisa has been so supportive and the Christopher Reeve Foundation has been supportive.  They even showcased what I’m doing in their newsletter.  I know money is tight now and it’s a hard time for Montana, but I’d appreciate if people would dig deep to help in Bob’s memory.”

I don’t want to tell you how to spend your money.  But I can’t think of a better way to honor a Missoula hero.

You can contribute on Kimberly’s blog, listed (here.)

It’s money well spent.

Reporter Michael Moore can be reached at 523-5252 or at mmoore@missoulian.com.  His column, “The Middle Ages,” appears each month in Booming.

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