Community comes together to honor the life of young girl in Olne - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Community comes together to honor the life of young girl in Olney


Tears poured and hugs were tight as a close-knit community comes together to honor a little girl whose life tragically came to an end.

A large crowd of family, friends, and even some strangers gathered at Angel of Hope Memorial Gardens in Olney to remember 8 year old Sabrina Stauffenberg.

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As the sun set over Olney, Illinois, Amazing Grace echoed from a set of bagpipes to honor, who many call an amazing little girl.

"It's put ripples through a lot of places and it's hard," said Tony Combs, a family friend. "It's hard for a lot of people."

With candles in hand, many shared personal stories. While trying to cope with a loss that has hit this small community hard.

"We never imagined anything like this ever happening in our community," said Dawn Hemrich, a family friend.

Hemrich says she is here to celebrate the life of a little girl who had a very big smile.

"I worked with her on several occasions at the school and she was just always so full of life and love," said Hemrich. "Always had a big hug and open arms waiting on me and now I'm not going to get that anymore."

Hemrich's daughter Angel is also trying to cope with the loss of not just her classmate, but her best friend.

"We liked to play with each other," said Angel Hazel.  "And we liked to play house together."

Others here in the community, some who didn't even know Sabrina, plan to honor her in a special way with a special escort at her funeral.

"Friday, coming up, we've talked with the family," explained Combs. "We are going to have a bike procession to lead to her final resting spot. So there will be a lot of groups come together that day. Everyone is welcome, car or truck, motorcycle, or whatever. Come on out."

A touching scene, neighbors helping neighbors showing support and trying to help each other cope with the unthinkable.

Kistler Patterson funeral home lists Sabrina's visitation is set for Thursday from 4 to 8 pm. Her funeral is planned for Friday morning at 10, also at the funeral home, in Olney.

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