Today would have been Debra Mills Wagner Beaver’s 59th birthday. She should be busy making plans with friends, spending time with family and celebrating another year of life.
Instead, Beaver’s friends and family will honor the Leawood woman by doing good deeds in Johnson and Miami counties in Deed for Debbie Day.
On Jan. 5, 2012, Beaver was killed by her estranged husband, who then killed himself. Deed for Debbie Day is not only a way to pay tribute to Beaver; it’s also a way to give back and reach out to other victims of domestic violence.
“Debbie was just a really supportive, loving person,” said Jan Helfner, a close friend and former coworker of Beaver’s. “After Debbie was killed, we decided on her birthday each year that we would try to forward that legacy of good deeds and do good deeds in her honor.”
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Those wishing to participate in Deed for Debbie Day can attend a donation drive and lunch event today at the Queen’s Price Chopper in Stanley from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For every lunch purchased, Price Chopper will donate $1 to Safehome, Johnson County’s domestic violence shelter.
The Futbol Club Eatery and Tap in Overland Park also will donate to Safehome a portion of sales today from 5 to 8 p.m. Others wishing to help can make money or product donations at all Queen’s Price Chopper locations in Overland Park, Stanley, Spring Hill, Paola, Bonner Springs and Ottawa.
For Beaver’s loved ones, Deed for Debbie Day is more than just a fundraiser. It’s a way for them to turn a terrible tragedy into something positive.
“Debbie always had a smile on her face,” Helfer said. “Looking back now, you would have hardly ever known anything was wrong. She just always had such an incredible, positive attitude.
“Domestic violence can affect anyone, of any walk of life to any degree. It’s so much more prevalent than anyone thinks.”