The evening of Oct.1, 2017 was a normal one. Ken and his soon-to-be wife, Tiffannie, were putting the finishing touches on the plans for their Oct. 7 wedding when news of the Route 91 shooting came across the television. With friends on the Strip for the concert, Ken headed there to make sure they had a ride home. He ended up taking multiple people home – some across town whose shirts were stained with blood. The next day, like most Las Vegans, he felt unsettled and anxious to do something to help. He created a Nevada-shaped, wooden sign with a heart and skyline graphic engraved in the middle. His uncle, a retired Navy vet, offered to purchase three. Ken decided, at $25 a sign, he could make 10 and donate $250 to the Las Vegas Victims Fund, which had just been established. He released the signs into the Facebook universe on Oct. 3, and they were sold in minutes. On Oct. 4, he directed people to his Etsy page and by 7 p.m. that evening, he had sold 900 signs. He left Oct. 5 for San Diego for his wedding, and after his honeymoon, returned on Oct. 16 ready to to create nearly 1,000 signs, which included the addition of signs for victims’ families and friends and first responders. Together with friends, family, a Girl Scouts troop and some local woodworking artisans, the signs were completed and shipped (some clear across the country) by Nov. 30. In December 2017, he donated $17,317 to the Las Vegas Victims Fund.
On the first anniversary of the shooting, Ken was named one of the city’s “91 Points of Light” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. See number 36 here: https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/in-las-vegas-darkest-hour-humanity-shone-brightly-2/
Ken’s story, as originally reported by the Review-Journal on Nov. 23, 2017, can be read here: https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/east-valley/man-creates-vegas-strong-plaques-after-las-vegas-shooting/, and a piece produced by KTNV-TV, Channel 13, can be seen here: https://www.ktnv.com/news/las-vegas-shooting/high-demand-for-vegas-strong-plaques-after-mass-shooting.