Community rallies around teen's death - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Community rallies around teen's death

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ZEIGLER, IL - Students at Zeigler-Royalton High School may come from two separate communities in Illinois, but tragedy has united them with a message of love.

Ashley Kay Jackson had just begun her freshman year at Zeigler-Royalton High School when a stray bullet claimed her life.

Zeigler-Royalton raised more than $8,500 last year by holding a 5k with the proceeds going towards a scholarship in her name, a small step with a huge meaning.

"I miss her a lot," said Ariel Mays.  "I think about her every day."

"She was awesome and she had a really pretty smile," said Josh Young.  "I just wish she could still be here."

Ashley Kay Jackson was just 14-years-old when her life was tragically cut short by a bullet.

"She passed away in October of 2012 just a couple of weeks before her 15th birthday," said Jackson's Aunt BJ Newbury.  "It's just hard because it was just an accident."

Though Jackson has been gone for close to two years her spirit lives on with the profits from a 5k that goes towards a scholarship carrying her name.

"One of the things for her scholarship is the student needs to have a need," said Newbury.  "It's nice to know that what we're giving may have motivated to continue their learning."

It's a walk to remember, so that Ashley Kay Jackson can live out her life in the hearts and minds of others.

"I think it's very special to keep her memory alive here at the school," said Mays.  "Everybody always thinks about her and talks about her."
"You need to make sure that you hug the people that you love every day," said Newbury.
"We'll get to see her again someday," said Young.

The second annual Ashley Kay Jackson memorial 5k will take place on Saturday at 8 A.M. at Zeigler-Royalton High School.

Donations can also be made to the Ashley Kay Jackson Scholarship Memorial at the Herrin Security Bank.
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