On the evening of July 20, 2012, an expectant couple went to the movies. Little did they know their lives would be changed forever.
Twelve people were killed that night – and 58 more injured – in what’s now known as the Aurora movie theater shooting. It was the deadliest shooting in Colorado since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
Caleb and Katie Medley were in that movie theater.
Two days later, Katie gave birth to the couple’s first child. What should have been a joyous occasion was tinged by sadness, because Caleb wasn’t there with her. Having been shot in the face, he’d lost his right eye and was in a coma.
In an effort to raise money for the Medleys’ mounting medical expenses, a friend of the couple coordinated a benefit. When Kallene West, a local Modern Woodmen financial representative and chapter activities coordinator, heard about Melody for Medley, she knew her chapter members would want to help.
Kallene’s chapter partnered with concert planners and arranged a Modern Woodmen Matching Fund project. On Aug. 25, Melody for Medley raised $2,500. The entire amount was matched by Modern Woodmen.
“Getting to deliver that $5,000 check was pretty incredible,” says Kallene. “Without Modern Woodmen, Melody for Medley wouldn’t have been able to raise what it did.”