Moving Forward, Hanging On
What better weekend than the Eve of All Saints and All Souls Days for the Malin family of Lake Forest to host their “Halo-ween Costume Party,” a fund-raiser benefiting the Steven Malin, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund? Maria and Steve Malin’s middle child, Steven, Jr., was killed in Lake Forest by a train in 2003 at the age of 11, and his family has honored his life in numerous ways since his death. This fall, Steven’s mom found a new way to celebrate their son, as well as benefit the scholarship fund, which is available through Lake Forest High School.
On Saturday, October 29, The Lake Forest Club will come alive with the Halloween party, complete with dancing, buffet, cash bar, and prizes for best costume. Maria
explains that although they have hosted other fund-raisers over the past few years to help award the two annual scholarships honoring good character in our youth, this year’s Halloween-themed event is new and will hopefully become a party supporters will look forward to attending annually.
“Our son Steven so looked forward to Halloween each year, and we can’t think of a more fun way to celebrate him as well as benefit the scholarship in his name,” says Maria. Indeed, Steven’s family, including sisters Francesca and Brianna, put forth much effort to honor their son and brother in their daily lives.
In 2004, with memorial donations and like-kind contributions of labor and materials, the Malin family’s efforts completely renovated a baseball field in Lake Forest and gifted it back to the community. Outfitting the now state-of-the-art facility with new dugouts, home run fencing, a warning track, electronic scoreboard, and, most importantly, a quiet memorial area to celebrate Steven’s love of baseball, as well as his love of life, seemed a very appropriate way to pay tribute. “Kids come to the field to play in a tournament, and we find them
posing for pictures with the statue of Stevie in his catcher’s uniform. They somehow know that this field honors a little boy who loved to play the game as much as they do,” Steve, Sr., explains.
Maria took her lifelong love of writing to healing heights after Steven’s death and wrote a book about hope after life-changing loss, published in 2009 and entitled When You Just Can’t Say Good-bye, Don’t—A Mother’s Personal Journey After Losing a Child. Maria’s message of keeping our loved ones lost to death an integral part of everyday, positive living has provided numerous opportunities for motivational speaking engagements as well as media appearances these last few years. Proceeds from Maria’s book and speaking also benefit the scholarship fund.
When asked how they can possibly live with such passion and energy again after the tragic loss of their son, Maria, who has gone on to become certified in grief recovery assistance, working one-on-one with others facing significant loss, says, “We have found many well-adjusted ways to keep Steven a ‘forever’ part of our family. ‘Getting over this’ was not possible. Moving forward with Steven still close allowed us to return to a place of joy and wholeness.”
To purchase tickets to the Halo-ween Costume Party and to learn more about the Malin family, Maria’s book and grief work, and Steven’s scholarship fund-raiser, visit movingforwardhangingon.com.