Dom’s Park Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting
What: Celebrate the grand opening of Dom’s Park
When: June 19th from 1-4pm (ribbon cutting: 2:30pm)
Where: Chalco Hills Recreation Area – Picnic Area A
With the help of our family, friends, and community, Dom’s Park is complete! We will be celebrating the grand opening of Dom’s Park and would love for you to join us! Come celebrate Dom’s legacy, have some eCreamery ice cream, enter to win door prizes (free entry), and play on the playground you helped make possible. All activities will be outdoors; masks are encouraged.
(Cancelled due to COVID)
We will be hosting a golf tournament to raise money for Dom’s Park at Tara Hills Golf Course in Papillion, NE on June 6, 2020. We will need at least 116 golfers. Registration and additional information to follow. We are currently looking for people to help with obtaining event and/or hole sponsors as well as pin prizes. If you are interested in helping, please contact us at Strong4Dom@hotmail.com.
(Cancelled due to COVID)
We will be hosting a silent auction to raise money for Dom’s Park on June 26, 2020 at The Belvedere Hall in Papillion, NE. We are in the early planning stages, but are looking for people to help with obtaining event sponsors, auction items (e.g., baskets, gift cards), and event volunteers. If you are interested in helping, please contact us at Strong4Dom@hotmail.com.
(Cancelled due to COVID)
We will be hosting a fun walk/run at Chalco Hills Recreation Area on September 5, 2020. We are still in the planning stages, so stay tuned for event and registration information.
Suckers, Bracelets, & Koozies…Oh My! – 1.9.20
Dominik’s cousin Alexia started a service project for Key Club and is raising money for Dom’s Park by selling lip suckers ($1), bracelets ($2), and can coozies ($5). So awesome! All proceeds are dedicated to help build Dom’s Park. Orders can be placed by sending a message on Facebook to either Stephanie Benson or Lee Wickenhauser. Because Alexia lives in MN, arrangements can be made for shipping.
Distance for Dominik – 12.29.19
Dominik’s great uncle, Jim Benson, has initiated Distance for Dominik to help fundraise for Dom’s Park. Amazing! Throughout 2020, Jim is planning to run approximately 200 miles across numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. He is taking per-mile pledges. You can make a pledge by clicking the Sign Up button on Jim’s Distance for Dominik Facebook page or by going directly to Jim’s Google Doc. Updates are made via Facebook. All money will go to the Dominik Walters Memorial Fund and will help to put smiles on the faces of kids for years to come.
Dine and Donate Event – 12.9.19
Come have a delicious dinner with us and help us build Dom’s Park! On Monday, December 9th from 5-8pm, Ollie & Hobbes in Papillion has graciously agreed to donate 10% of sales to Dom’s Memorial Fund. Amazing! All you have to do is DOWNLOAD and PRINT the flyer shown on the right (below on mobile) and present it to your server. Click the Download button below to download a PDF of the flyer.
Ollie & Hobbes was absolutely Dom’s favorite restaurant. Always a creature of habit, Dom would order mac & cheese, buttered peas, white milk, and ice cream complete with self-serve chocolate and colored sprinkles and hot fudge. While he waited, he would play with the fantastic busy box that included bristle blocks, Rubik’s cube, and a water arcade game.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!!
Midwest Fox Fest – 9.14.19
On September 14th, the Midwest Foxbody Mustang group hosted Midwest Fox Fest 2019. This year’s show was even better than last year’s with beautiful weather and more impressive foxbody Mustangs! We are so grateful that Sonny again chose to name the fest’s Best Paint award in honor of Dom. Although Sonny never had the opportunity to meet Dom, he chose to honor Dom after hearing his story and his absolute love of cars. Amazing! All of the awards were truly incredible, created by the talented Shawn Dice. We are forever humbled to have people in our lives who never met Dom, yet go out of their way to help carry on his legacy and love of cars!
Ice Cream Sunday – 7.21.19
We wanted to do something at our church (Rejoice! Lutheran) in memory of Dominik, so on July 21st we hosted Ice Cream Sunday in honor of Dom. He loved going to Sunday School and got to participate in Ice Cream Sunday last year during Summer Sunday School. It was the perfect opportunity to be able share Dom’s story with our church family and spread his love with others. Before each service, they allowed us 5-10 minutes to talk about Dom and his love of cars, space, and learning. We enjoyed sharing how it came to be that a four year old had so many Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. We shared how he preferred to read the Smithsonian Space Book over the space book for kids and how he loved for us to make up stories with him, but really it was just him dictating to us how he wanted the story to go. Also, we shared how he loved the simple things in life. It was wonderful to talk about him and who he was instead of focusing solely on the tragedy of losing him. He may have only been alive for 4 short years, but for us it was an amazing 4 years and we consider ourselves lucky to have been a part of all of it. We continue to be blessed to have opportunities to share who Dom was with others.
Compassionate Friends Walk – 7.14.19
On July 14th , we participated in the Compassionate Friends Walk at Chalco Hills Recreation Area. For those that don’t know, Compassionate Friends is a support group for parents and grandparents who have lost children. They are a national organization with local chapters all around the United States. Every year, they host a walk for family and friends to come together and remember their lost loved ones. They have a nice program, a walk from the boat landing to the bridge during which we passed by photos of loved ones along the way, and then a short ceremony on the bridge. After the walk, there was time for remembering and socializing with other family and friends. We were fortunate enough to have some family make the trip down from Minnesota to join us and Dom’s former day care provider, Ms. Mindy, joined us as well. It was a nice day, but man was it HOT! We feel it is important to take time to do things like this that make you stop and come together with family and friends to remember. We remember Dom every minute of every day, but moments like these are so important for healing.
Sweet Honey Boon – 7.5.19
Many people have asked why we call Nora, Boon. Welp, here’s the story. Before Nora was born we called her Stretch because at every ultrasound she was stretched out from head to toe. Lounging. When we started to discuss what to name her, of course Dom had to throw in his two cents. He initially thought her name should be Margaret, which is the name of Daniel Tiger’s little sister on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (Dom’s favorite show). The day Nora was born, Dom had a cold so he couldn’t visit us in the hospital. Instead, we Skyped with him to show him his new baby sister, who we planned to call Nora. He immediately responded with, “Hello Bassilia!” Bassilia, seriously? We have no idea where that name came from but he continued to call her Bassilia for about a week despite our protests. Then, for some unknown reason, he just started calling her Boon, or The Boon, or Sweet Honey Boon. Every morning when it was time to get Nora up, Dom would go into her room, lean over her crib, look down at her, and say, “Hey Boon!” He said Boon so much that it caught on! Now, about 17 months later, Nora has no idea that her name is Nora and only responds to Boon (or Toons). After Dom passed, one of our friends sent us the definition of Boon, which means “a gift or a blessing.” Pretty amazing, right? It is exactly what she is. She brings us back from the darkest places.
Also, we did not turn our backs on our Minnesota roots and become Detroit Tiger fans. We had a lot of nicknames for Dom, but the one we called him the most was simply “D.” So, as a small gesture to remember him and feel like he is with us wherever we go, we bought Detroit Tiger hats because of the prominent “D” on the front (and sometimes the back).
A Bench for Dom – 6.15.19
This summer we bought a bench and plaque in memory of Dom for Hickory Hill Park near our park. We worked with the people in the Department of Parks and Recreation for the City of Papillion to get this bench placed and the team at Regal Awards for the plaque. It is the perfect spot to honor Dom because he loved the playground at Hickory Hill Park. There were so many times he would have the park all to himself and thought about it as his own. His favorite thing was to play hide and seek, zoom his cars along the border, and of course, go down and climb up the big slide. Now when we take Nora (aka, Boon) to this park, we imagine him sitting there watching us play. Every time we take the time to sit on Dom’s bench we feel a sense of peace and comfort knowing he is always near.