Grandmother's own grief sparks Maclean Walk 4 William
MACLEAN grandmother Terry Messenger is driven by hope: hope that one day she will be reunited with her missing daughter and hope that missing child William Tyrrell will be returned to his family safe and sound.
Mrs Messenger's daughter Tammy Hunt went missing three years ago while William Tyrrell disappeared from his grandmother's home at Kendall, on the mid-north coast almost 12 months ago.
Mrs Messenger said she had been touched by the case.
Determined to provide William's family with her support, Mrs Messenger has launched the Walk 4 William initiative in Maclean.
More than 170 groups will take to the streets in towns and cities around Australia on September 12, on the first anniversary of William's disappearance, to raise awareness of the case.
"I just love kids and I have worked with kids my entire life as a teacher's aide and through scouts," Mrs Messenger said.
"I have an older daughter in her 40s who went missing a few years ago. She might not be William's age but to me she is my baby. I know what it is like to have someone missing.
"I feel so sorry for parents that go through these terrible times, I feel so sad about what must go through those parents' minds." Mrs Messenger said she hoped the Walk 4 William campaign would raise awareness and inspire parents to be more alert.
"I think no matter where the child is, he becomes everybody's child. Everyone is worrying for his safety."
Mrs Messenger said the walk would also help highlight to children about stranger danger.
"I don't think this should be hidden from other kids, it happens to everyone," she said. "They need to understand that there are these horrible people out there, and the dangers they present."
All funds raised on the day or in the lead up through raffles and community fundraising will go to child protection organisation Bravehearts.
"All of our local community have been really fantastic in supporting our cause and donating items to our raffles," Mrs Messenger said.
The Maclean Walk 4 William will begin in McLachlan Park at 10.30am on Saturday, September 12.