Meet ABC57's Allison Hayes
You wouldn't think a day on the lake would have such special meaning to a young girl and her mother, but it was a lifelong dream for Allison Hayes. She shares that dream with her 7-year-old daughter Emery.
"I love that she loves the water just as much as I do, she appreciate it just as much as I do. We try to get out as much as we can," Allison said.
Allison's story begins in Niles, Michigan.
"I was born in Niles. I lived there my whole childhood. I went to Niles High School. I was a cheerleader, ran track, played tennis. I was involved in literally every activity. I was that kid," said Allison.
That kid quickly turned into a student of the game.
She attended the University of Florida and covered sports across the Sunshine State before she took a job back home at WSJV.
"I always loved the pageantry of sports and the stories of the people. getting to know the players and athletes on a personal level," said Allison.
Her first love was Rob. They were high school sweethearts who married and started a family.
"I love it out here and this allows us to hold on to a piece of Rob also. He loved it out here," said Allison. "We still see him here in different things, the shed, the dock, the boat. So it's nice to be out here and still have a piece of that old life."
A beautiful life Rob helped build before he died in car accident in 2012.
"It was hard. It has been four years and it was really hard. There are times where it still really hard. And those anniversaries dates are still difficult to get through," Allison said.
Hard and difficult quickly turned into love and support.
"When Rob passed away we were overwhelmed by the amount of support from people in the community and we realized that we weren't the only people that get help," said Allison.
The good deeds she experienced became inspiration.
"There are people who go out of their way to help others in need," Allison said.
In Rob's honor, they started One Good Deed Michiana to recognize people who go out of their way to help those who need it.
"It's just a feel good thing. The person who nominates feels amazing, the person who is being recognized feels amazing. They always cry. I always cry. And it's a way to give back. Encouraging someone who is doing the right thing. making a difference in someone's life- to let them know the difference they are making to encourage them to keep going," Allison said.
And now Allison and Emery are moving forward.
"We are trying to figure out how do we balance holding on that to that past because we will never let go. Robert is a part of our daily life and we will never let that go," Allison said. "But at the same time we are moving forward with our lives so we are figuring that out and I don't know what the right answer ever is to that."
She has spent her whole life asking questions, but when it comes time to find that answer, she's still working on it.
She is excited to be following her lifelong dream to report on Notre Dame Sports.
"It's really awesome to be back and know that I'm not going to miss any Notre Dame games this year because I will be at all of them," Allison said.
She'll be sharing the highs and lows of Notre Dame's football season with ABC57's viewers.
“I have someone in my life who is very supportive of me and allows us to still be a daughter and a wife and have that be a part of our lives,” Allison said. "Our lives are so hectic and busy and jam packed and working in TV is its own animal but to be able to be here and just breathe, it's just everything to me."