Day of remembrance to be in Sidney  (copy)

Angel of Hope dedication in Sidney. A similar park is being planned in Gering.

SCOTTSBLUFF — Reunited in Heaven, the nonprofit group that proposed siting an Angel of Hope Memorial in Gering’s Gentry Park, has scheduled its first fundraising event of the campaign.

The mission of Reunited in Heaven is to create a beautiful memorial park to honor the existence of all our precious children who have died far too soon, the group says.

The Boo Bash 2019 Costume Ball is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Weborg 21 Centre on the Scottsbluff-Gering Highway.

It’s described as a spooktacular evening of fabulous food, fun, prizes, games, live music from the band Loaded Dice, dancing, a raffle and silent auction, costume contest and a lot more.

“Our inaugural fundraiser is geared toward something happy where people can have fun,” committee member Becky Horne said. “It’s an adults-only event for those 21 and over.”

She said that while the ball’s emphasis is on entertainment, there will also be an unveiling of a 3D image of what the park will look like.

The memorial will include not only an angel statue, but also a circular memorial garden with pavers bearing the names of children who have died.

Similar to the Angel of Hope Memorial in Sidney, the Gering memorial will be only the second one in Nebraska.

Horne said the committee would like to have some of the initial phases of the memorial completed by the end of 2020. But as a nonprofit group, progress will depend on fundraising and grant availability.

The group’s initial proposal was presented in September to the Gering City Council, where they received positive feedback and support for the memorial. But the idea goes back even farther.

“I lost Katy Cullom, my 14-year-daughter in a car accident in 2007,” group organizer Melissa Lashley said. “She was the driving force behind this.”

Lashley said she often visits the cemetery and talks with her daughter. She thought a memorial for all the people who have lost a child would be a wonderful addition to the community.

“I want people to look up in hope and ponder their memories, knowing they will see their children again.”

Lashley said she’s met a lot of parents in the area who have gone through the same loss, so she reached out to some of them and invited them to help create a labor of love, an Angel of Hope Memorial in Gentry Park.

“I think it will be a healing process for the 12 parents who are helping on this project,” Lashley said. “I have all the people on board that I know can make this happen.”

She said the memorial will be for all people, even for parents who had a child die at 50. The memorial will be a place where they can honor their children.

For more information about Reunited in Heaven and their planned memorial, visit facebook.com/loveumorex4.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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