Team Valerie

Valerie Papillo

 

March 5, 1969 - October 30, 2005

Dear Friends,

 

Over the last 3 months, I have lost touch with many of you, and others, I have come to lean on.  Most of you know of the tragic loss of my girlfriend Valerie, through an act of random and senseless violence.

 

Val’s life and death has had a profound effect on my life, and the healing process for both me and all of the people she touched, has been a slow and difficult process.  Indeed, I have found myself reaching into places of my soul the old me never needed to explore.

 

Many people are doing many things to honor, remember and memorialize Valerie.  The town of Montgomery , VT is dedicating a new recreation center to her, and Tommy Patras, the other victim of this senseless crime.  Bettie, Val’s friend and roommate has started a non-profit, “Random acts of Kindness” to benefit local Montgomery residents with small acts of giving, as needs arise for schoolbooks, winter boots or a vaccine for a stray dog.

 

Local artists in Montgomery donated art for a 2006 calendar, with all the proceeds going to “Random Acts of Kindness.”

 

I too have been working to heal.  It is a daily effort not to sink into self pity, and longing for a life (with Val) which I will never have.

March 5th would have been Valerie’s 37th birthday.  To honor her on this day, I have decided to run the Malta Marathon ( Malta was one of only two marathons being held on March 5th, the other one being in Little Rock ).  Escorted by Bettie and Rena Wade, Valerie’s dear friends, we are making the quest to Malta and asking all of our friends to sponsor my marathon run with a pledge to Val’s non profit.

 

I have a difficult time asking for help, but this request is a plea to help, not for the dead, but for the living.  Your contribution ($1.00 per mile = $26.00 for example) helps not only a good cause, but it helps me.  For you support, symbolized through currency, is a reminder to me that there is still plenty of good out in the world and I am still truly blessed.  In fact, making this trek, doing this run, honoring Valerie with the support of my friends is the most important thing I have ever done.

 

For Bettie, Rena and I, the road to healing has been enormously laborious.  This quest had been small light in the deep abyss, an adventure to look toward to, in a time where the dawn of every morning just illuminates the emptiness which is still present.

 

And so, please, make this gesture for me.  All funds go directly, 100% to “Random Acts of Kindness”, and with your contribution you will receive a complete trip report, with more than you probably ever wanted to know about Malta , the trip, running a marathon and, hopefully, a few chronicled  moments of happiness for “Team Valerie”. 

 

For those of you who I have lost touch with, I apologize for not being in better communication.  Please feel free to call or write me.  The changes in my life are huge, including geographical. 

 

Our goal is to raise $3,000.00 (1K ea) for the fund.  To pledge, please choose one of the following methods:

Use the online pledge form

Email me at stevedutt0n@yahoo.com  (please note the "o" in Dutton is the number zero)

Print the pledge form and fax to me at 201-868-5601 (Adobe .pdf format)

You may also mail a check to:

Random Acts of Kindness, PO Box 167, Montgomery, VT 05471

Thank you everyone for supporting me in this effort.

Best Regards,

Steve