On Monday morning, Freeman High School students will have to walk the halls where one of their classmates was shot and killed, and another three scarred physically and emotionally.
If time heals all wounds, the town of Rockford, Washington is working to speed that process up, with love and support visible on just about every street corner.
“This community supports each other in any way possible we can,” said Amanda LaShaw. Amanda didn’t graduate from Freeman High, but her father, her mother, and her husband all did.
A Freeman family, they own the Golden Gem Mercantile between the school and the small town of Rockford.
Overnight, they built a tribute to the community they hold so dear.
“Freeman is a very strong community. We are so happy to be a part of this community, and if there’s anything we can do…” said Amanda.
This weekend, Golden Gem is hosting a fall festival. In its second year, this event of course was planned well before Wednesday’s tragedy, but now has a much more special purpose.
“Having the kids come so they can hang out with their friends, be able to relax and talk, we want to be able to support that,” said Amanda.
Every cent raised this weekend is going straight to the families of the young ladies who were hurt and the young man who lost his life, once again defining what it means to be Freeman strong.
The festival is this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The $10 child entry fee will be donated to the families affected to help cover medical and funeral costs.