Tragedy inspires local families to help others

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Two families with local ties have taken tragic personal events and turned them into opportunities to help others in their community.

This past weekend Ella’s Light Ministry held a free event at Jack Read Park to raise money to help 21 churches in three states hold summer Bible camps and other events geared towards children.

The ministry was founded after Ella Formby, the daughter of Lourie and Julie Formby and the niece of state Representative Mark Formby, died from injuries sustained when a drunk driver rear-ended the family vehicle.

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The Formbys didn’t let the death of their child keep them from keeping her memory alive.

The organization is their way to continue to spread Ella’s light to the world.

In 2008, Pearl River County School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin and his wife Melissa lost their 8-year-old daughter Laken in a golf cart accident.

The Lumpkins have also continued to honor the memory of their daughter by starting the Playin’ For Laken Foundation.

The foundation’s biggest fundraiser is their annual softball and cabbage ball tournament.

The funds raised during the tournament and throughout the year provide college scholarships to local high school seniors, financial support for parents who tragically lost a child and for parents with sick children. The funds also sponsor dues for needy children to play on local sports teams and the annual sponsorship of an 8-year-old girl and her siblings for Christmas.

Both families have helped many families and children throughout the years.

It takes strong people to look at a life-altering event and create a positive aspect from it.

It says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

These families have put their faith in the Lord and he is giving them the strength to help others.