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Cody's Crew

I lost my precious 32-year-old son, Cody Mogensen, to the disease of addiction (opiates laced with fentanyl) on May 2nd last year. On May 5th, he blessed four people with his organs. Then it was Mother’s Day, my birthday and lastly the day of his Celebration of Life. So many tough dates
I had to deal with during the month of May. But the news of the yearly KinderMourn Hope Floats Duck Race helped me focus on something positive, a way to give back to an organization that had continually helped and supported me through this unthinkable loss.

It began in early spring. First, I created a group called Cody’s Crew to raise funds for the Hope Floats Duck Race. After promoting it on social media, I contacted a good friend and asked her to design Cody’s Crew t-shirts for our group to wear that day. I ordered duck decals and adorable duck thank you notes for all that contributed. I also purchased adorable duck earrings and asked a friend’s daughter to bake homemade duck shaped cookies for our crew. After the t-shirt design came in, I found someone to make them and started taking t-shirt orders! A very thoughtful group of friends purchased a pair of personalized yellow Converse honoring Cody that I
would proudly wear that day. The fundraising and planning for this special event kept me busy and helped occupy my free time and my mind.

Come race day, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of friends that showed up at the Whitewater Center to support me and honor Cody and all the loved ones that we celebrate at KinderMourn. They arrived with all sorts of duck attire including personalized yellow duck race bandanas for the dogs in Cody’s Crew. It was nice to meet the rest of the staff from
KinderMourn, see friends from my Wednesday night support group and meet their family members. However, the highlight of my day was witnessing the delighted squeals and looks of wonder from the young children in attendance once the 45,048 ducks were released into the
rapids. Even the sudden downpour from an angry sky couldn’t hamper the mood of the crowd.

My life has been forever changed since losing Cody, and some dates will always be more difficult than others, but I am thankful that I will have this event to look forward to every year. Cody’s Crew will join together again next May to help support an organization that has helped me and so many others travel this journey of grief. I am so thankful to have found KinderMourn and find comfort in giving back to it.

Lori Hawes
Cody’s mom

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