GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Family and friends of a woman killed by her boyfriend are keeping her memory alive.
After 32-year-old Kristie Purcey was stabbed to death, those closest to her were determined to warn others about the dangers of domestic violence.
The group held their second annual “Rise Above 4 Kristie” event at Grand Rapids Christian High School on Saturday morning and used exercise to help lighten the mood.
Purcey was murdered in November of 2010. Her killer later took his own life during a multi-county manhunt.
Her father John Vanderwilp was a bright soul who was always there when her friends and family needed her.
“Everybody loved her. She was very independent. She was very outgoing. She was always waiting to open up the next door not knowing what’s being it and she is willing for the challenge and she was there for anyone that needed help. I mean she was there,” said Vanderwilp.
“Rise Above 4 Kristie” is an event to also help raise money for Safe Haven Ministries. They provide shelter for abused and battered women and children.
“I think a lot of women might fear if they reach out for help, that they might pay for it if the abuser finds out that they’ve reached out,” said Kim Trathen, friend of Purcey’s.
According to Safe Haven Ministries, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.