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Festival Queen contestant raises funds for Suicide Survivors Support Group

Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen contestant Katarina Kruse (right) and her Little Miss Spat contestant Ava Grace Harris.

Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen contestant Katarina Kruse and her Little Miss Spat contestant Ava Grace Harris hosted the first Unity in Urbanna on July 19 to raise money for a suicide support and prevention group in Middlesex County. The group “Left Behind-Suicide Survivors Support Group” is currently being formed thanks to the donations from the walk, a raffle with products from local businesses, and through online donations. To date, $750 has been raised with more donations pledged.

Kruse saw the need for a local support group after realizing how many people in the community have been touched by suicide. Kruse’s father committed suicide in 2005 and the need for a support group for people of any age is imperative to help those who are left behind to move on.

This is only the beginning for this community group. Annual fundraisers will be held and next year Kruse would like to host an overnight “Out of the Darkness” walk. “My dedication to this project does not end after the festival,” said Kruse. “This will be an ongoing personal goal for me to help the community where I grew up.”

Kruse is the daughter of Holly Kruse and the late Wayne Kruse. She is a member of Lower United Methodist Church and is a senior at Middlesex High School. After high school, she plans to attend school to become an ultrasound technician in line with her passion for the medical field.

Her Little Miss Spat contestant Ava Grace Harris is a first-grader at Middlesex Elementary School and is the daughter of Cory and Kristin Harris. Ava Grace loves gymnastics, cheerleading, swimming, and playing with her brother and sister. Her favorite food is watermelon.
Kruse and Ava Grace thank members of the community for their support—both financially and emotionally. A special thank-you to the local businesses that donated items for the raffle: Salon by the Bay, Something Different, The Crabby Couple, West Marine, Dano’s Pizza, Rivah Day Spa, and Coffman’s on the Coast.

The Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat will be crowned at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 7, at the Urbanna Firehouse on the weekend of the Oyster Festival.

posted 10.24.2014

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