An Open Letter On Child Abuse From Kekeluv
I was sitting at home while working in Spokane when the tragic news that a local 4 year old lost her life as a result of abuse by her parents. They would put a shock collar on her and make her wash clothes in the bathtub. It messed me up. I came up with 'Live for 125' within months. My goal was to stay up for five days without sleep, breaking a Guinness Book of World Records to raise awareness during the month of April, Child Abuse Prevention month.
I accomplished that feat and the feedback was enormous. I moved to Boise the next year. The Boise State Broncos just won the historic Fiesta Bowl, and this city was electric. I felt that a city with this culture would embrace standing up for children who can't stand up for themselves.
We did it again, and this time I stayed up for 175 hours, breaking another Guinness Book of World Records. The goal? To get Idahoans to say one sentence, "It Shouldn't Hurt to Be a Child."
This went viral with lead stories on KTVB, the Idaho Statesman, and a National Spotlight interview from Fox News. I would strive to do something every year to raise awareness that would include 7 marathons in 7 Days, Fast 7 Days on a billboard, and Cycle to Break the Cycle for 7 days from Village at Meridian. One year the city was devastated by the loss of 8-year-old Robert Manwill in Boise. I stayed up for 8 days that year without sleep.
The landscape of the city has changed. I moved over to afternoons on sister station Mix 106, and coronavirus canceled the event in 2020. We have a tremendous number of people moving into the area, and this is a great opportunity to recharge the movement for kid's safety.
Coach Chris Petersen wrote me a letter that I keep close for inspiration.
"Keke, Awesome job!! You are a very impressive person, and our community can't thank you enough for fighting for such a good cause. I hope our Broncos show as much heart, fight & toughness this Fall as you have shown. You have the heart of a champion! It is people like you that make Boise such a great place to call home. Sincerely, Coach Pete."
This sets the stage for 2021. I...We want to reintroduce our child abuse prevention event with the backdrop of the blue. As April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the color of the ribbon is blue, I plan to sit in every seat at Boise State to call attention to child abuse awareness. In 2020, Idaho saw a 22% increase in child abuse cases since 1990. Those same kids wear blue and orange while cheering on their Broncos. Keke plans to sit in each of those seats, which represents those kids in our community. There is no other greater place like Albertsons Stadium in front of the blue.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the color of the ribbon is Blue.