Katie and Henry

It’s been too long since I fired up this blog and shared any news. I hate that the news I have to share today is so sad. My good friend Katie has suffered a devastating loss. Her oldest son, Henry, passed away yesterday following a drug overdose and a serious assault. The whole story of her family’s ordeal can be read in detail from Katie’s own brave words at her blog.

In the meantime, so many of Katie’s friends have asked me and her other co-workers at Ackermann PR what they can do to help. I want to pass along this information on what we are doing here at work and how you can be a part of it.

As if the pain of losing Henry weren’t enough, there are very real financial hurdles to be faced now, as well.

So many people have been asking what they can do to help. There is a simple and direct way to do so and I’m calling on you for assistance. With some coordinated effort in the online community, we can at least try to make one aspect of this horrible time easier to manage for the family and give everyone a sense of having helped in a constructive and real way.

Ackermann PR wants to set up a fund to help defray some of the family’s expenses. On the advice of our company bank, this is the best way to handle it:

Simply write a check made out to Katie Allison Granju.

Mail it to:

Crystal Cardwell
c/o Ackermann PR
1111 Northshore Drive, Suite N-400
Knoxville, TN 37919

We’ll handle it from there and deposit the funds raised into an account for the family.

Please pass this along to everyone you can. Katie has inspired us all with how she has dealt with this tragedy. Let’s see what we can do to help make things just a tiny bit easier for her.

And keep praying for them all as well. I know Katie and her family felt a lot of love and support the past few weeks and believe it helped her.



About Shane Rhyne

I am development director for East Tennessee PBS with additional non-profit experience as a public relations director for a cultural organization serving 35 counties in East Tennessee. I also have experience as a digital strategies manager for a top 100 full-service public relations firm, a radio station news director and station manager, and as a magazine writer/editor. I speak publicly and blog about a variety of topics related to digital and social media and am a frequent media interview subject matter expert on these topics. Connect with me on Google+