MILWAUKEE -- The family of a teenager killed as he was trying to make his way to Summerfest is remembering him five years after his death. 15-year-old Jared Kellner died five years ago on June 24th -- when a 13-ton slab of concrete fell from the O'Donnell parking garage, killing him and injuring two others.
On Wednesday, about 20 people gathered at the O'Donnell parking garage -- each getting a purple balloon. Purple was Jared Kellner's favorite color. One wish was made -- and the balloons were released. Those gathered cried, laughed and shared precious memories of Kellner -- in a ceremony marking the tragic anniversary.
Each year since 2010, Kellner's mother, Dawn has decorated the area with flowers. Some are purple, of course. It's an opportunity for Dawn Kellner to reflect with family members and friends.
"If you don't transform your life after you survive pain, then the pain was just wasted suffering," said Dawn Kellner.
Dawn Kellner says she is devoting herself to service for others. It's something she learned from Jared.
"Even in the neighborhood, if someone needed something or someone needed help or whatever he just kind of ran over and did it," said Kellner. ""For me, the only way I can bring forth what I think and feel, what he would have put forth in the world is to put that forth."
This year, Walker's Point, a youth crisis center on 20th and National, is her focus.
"Yeah, he just transformed my life in giving me peace and a wonderful, beautiful journey," said Dawn Kellner.