Goal of Wetterling Resource Center Hasn't Changed, Even As Anniversary Approaches

August 30, 2017 10:38 PM

Sunday will mark one year since the Stearns County Sheriff's Office confirmed the remains of Jacob Wetterling had been discovered - ending an ordeal that had lasted 27 years since the 11-year-old's abduction in 1989.

The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center now has a new space, but the mission remains the same - even after a difficult year for many.



"It's been a rough year for everybody who's been invested in Jacob's story," said Alison Feigh, the center's program manager.  

Last September, those closest to Wetterling found answers, finally hearing the horrible truth about the events that led to his death in 1989.

"When this happened to Jacob, it wasn't fair, and so we don't want to put the energy on how his life ended," Feigh said. "We want to put the energy on how he lived." 

It is for that reason that Feigh, a friend of Jacob's, said the center is not doing anything to mark the one-year anniversary of the discovery of Jacob's remains.

"Sometimes we hear from people 'Now that you have some answers about Jacob, does that mean that you're done,'" she said. "That your work here is done? And the answer is the requests for prevention, the requests for victim assistance have actually skyrocketed." 

The newly-renovated space along Hennepin Avenue gives the center more room to handle those calls. As well as more space for training, trauma-informed yoga and documentary screenings. 

"Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job," Feigh said. "We want to end child abuse." 

Feigh hopes the move, as well as the center's three decades of experience, allow them to bring at least some peace to the hundreds of other families still searching for answers. 

"A lot of things we weren't able to do in our old space, we're now dreaming bigger and figuring out how we can best serve families," she said. 

Jacob's mother Patty Wetterling sent out a statement Wednesday:

The #11forJacob Campaign and the kindness shown by everyone who honored Jacob in this way has been what has carried us through this last year. It is where we put our energy today and moving forward."

Once again this year, the center will hold a 5-Kilometer walk/run. It is scheduled for Oct. 21 at Lake Phalen Park in St. Paul.


Brett Hoffland

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