2018-03-08 / Front Page

Just trying to help

Teen raising money for healing center for grieving youth
By Tanya Terry
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com


Cecilia Ellis (left) and her granddaughter, Courtney Banks (right) were two of many people who supported a recent fundraiser for Ele’s Place at the Burton Eagles aeire #3814. Another fundraiser for the nonprofit will be held March 10. Cecilia Ellis (left) and her granddaughter, Courtney Banks (right) were two of many people who supported a recent fundraiser for Ele’s Place at the Burton Eagles aeire #3814. Another fundraiser for the nonprofit will be held March 10. BURTON — Shelby Cramner, 15, was shocked when her dad passed away in 2015 due to complications from lung, liver, kidney and bone cancer. Cramner’s mother, Monica Herriman-Cranmer, said Cramner had a tough time, and they tried other places before finding Ele’s Place, a healing center for grieving children and teens.

Now, Cramner is hosting fundraisers to get another Ele’s Place location opened to help other children and teens who have experienced loss.

“There are four locations for Ele’s Place,” Cramner said. “When I first needed it, the closest one to me was in Lansing. My goal for this fundraiser is to get another Ele’s Place opened for people who can’t travel to one of the current locations, like I couldn’t at first.”


Shelby Cramner, her sister, Lindsay Herriman, and her mother, Monica Herriman-Cranmer said Ele’s Place healing center has been tremendously helpful for Cramner, who grieves the death of her father. 
Photos by Tanya Terry Shelby Cramner, her sister, Lindsay Herriman, and her mother, Monica Herriman-Cranmer said Ele’s Place healing center has been tremendously helpful for Cramner, who grieves the death of her father. Photos by Tanya Terry To accomplish her goal, Cramner said she will have to raise about $200,000.

“Ele’s Place has helped me significantly,” she said. “I was taking off school a lot because I couldn’t function. But, in my freshman year of high school, about six months after I started going to Ele’s Place, I started missing school less.”

She said Ele’s place still helps her get through rough times.

“I still have my rough days,” she said. “But, now I’m able to do something that helps me when I have a rough day.”

Cramner goes to Ele’s Place every Tuesday, where she participates in a potluck, introduces herself to other young people who are grieving, engages in planned activities and free time, then often decides what the group’s wish is for the upcoming week.

Once the group got store bought masks. On the outside of the mask they wrote emotions they express. On the inside of the mask, they wrote emotions they keep to themselves.

Cramner said the Burton Eagles aeire #3814 haven’t had a fundraiser similar to the one is hosting in a few years, and other members of the Burton Eagles agreed to help Cramner, who is president of state youth for the club.

Cramner’s sister, Lindsay Herriman, helped prepare food for the Cramner’s Feb. 24 Ele’s Place fundraiser.

“She supported my fundraisers when I was state president,” Herriman said. “Right after my father passed, she was very sad and would always come home and cry. I see how much Ele’s Place has helped her.”

Rick Avang, treasurer for the Burton Eagles aeire #3814, said his kids were grieving the loss of his sister, who passed away from cancer.

“Sometimes kids keep things bottled up and don’t say everything to their parents,” he said. “It helps a lot for them to have someone to support them besides their parents.”

The next fundraiser Cramer will host for Ele’s Place will be from 1-6 p.m. March 10 at the Burton Eagles aeire #3814.

Hot dogs, coney dogs and fries will be sold. A 50/50 and other raffles will be held. Prizes will include a food processor, a Nuwave oven, a wooden wine rack and an air fryer, among other prizes.

It is a tradition with the Eagles to keep the amount raised through the fundraisers a secret from the president of state youth until the money is being presented. However, Cramner said she knows she has raised at least $5,000 so far. The money will be presented July 27.

The Burton Eagles aeire #3814 is located at 3317 E. Bristol Road.

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