By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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“She was the sweetest little girl,” said Amber Freeman, Hailey's mother.
“She always looked for ways to do good things. This is our little way of trying to make her feel close and still with us.”
A still-unknown illness set in rapidly in April 2012, and Hailey succumbed quickly, her mother said.
Loved to sing
The Helen Haller Elementary School student who loved to draw and ride her bike and play with friends at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, was full of life and loved to sing, her mother said.
Hailey wanted to run a grocery store, Amber Freeman remembered, so she could give extra food to the hungry.
In September, Peggy and Jennifer McKellar of Sequim Community Church organized a run/walk to help the Freeman family raise funds to pay medical bills.
The McKellars helped put together Team Hailey for the clinic's Fun Walk, remembering Hailey for her irrepressible voice.
“Nobody was going to stop her from singing praises to God,” they said.
Team Hailey is the family's way of encouraging the community to support the clinic's efforts to provide health care to the under-insured.
“The clinic has done a lot for our family,” Amber Freeman said. “I know Hailey would have been proud to help the good work they do there.”
The clinic's ninth annual Fun Walk begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church.
Registration is $10 for adults and free for those 12 and younger.
Those who want to sign up to walk with Team Hailey can do so with the Mc-Kellars or Amber Freeman at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the event walk or by calling Amber at 360-460-9520.
Amber Freeman asks that those joining Team Hailey wear red and special name tags that will be given to them.
The clinic, 777 N. Fifth Ave., Suite 109, is aiming to raise $47,000 in this year's walk, its major fundraiser.
The nonprofit, often referred to as the Sequim Free Clinic, provides basic urgent care to uninsured and underinsured people and provides help for chronic health care issues.
The clinic opens at 4:45 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays. Patients are treated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those with chronic health problems can make appointments for Tuesdays and on the first and third Thursdays between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The clinic is supported by donations from individuals, businesses, foundations and the city of Sequim, its website says.
For more information about the clinic, visit www.sequimfreeclinic.org or call 360-582-0218.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.