NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – A community is coming together to support a local family mourning the death of their 10-year-old daughter.
On Friday, Ella Bumgarnder died unexpectedly after suffering a brain aneurysm.
Wednesday, hundreds of people honored her memory by lining the streets of North Augusta with green balloons and signs.
A friend of the Bumgardner’s says Ella’s favorite color was green and she was a big fan of hearts.
Her family had close ties to North Augusta. That’s why many business owners felt they needed to show their support for her family. It was a way to let them know they don’t have to face this tragedy alone.
“I hope they know that we all love them,” said Bush Flower Shop Owner Larry Anderson.
Losing a child is a nightmare Anderson can’t imagine.
Anderson says he knows the Bumgardner’s through their church. “I actually sing in the choir with Jeff,” he said, “Jeff is my choir director/ So, we have a lot of love him and their family.”
The business owner says when he learned about the untimely passing of 10-year-old Ella Bumgardner, he was at a loss for words.
Anderson says the heartbreaking news compelled many people to show her family there’s strength in numbers.
“I think that’s the best thing that anybody could do,” Anderson told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “Is just let them know that we love them and we are there for them, if they need us.”
Green balloons and signs were on every corner of Georgia Ave.
Communigraphics employee Meg Heath says these community-wide gestures are small, compared to the big legacy Ella is leaving behind.
“I feel like she has become a hero here in town,” Heath said. “As her story has become such a wonderful one. She’s donated her organs and saved people’s lives. We think that’s amazing.”
Heath says she doesn’t know the Bumgardner’s personally, but watching them lean on their faith through this tragedy is restoring her hope.
“I started the other night, like really, praying for them and praying for their journey.” Heath told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “And I turned in to praying for myself because they have been such a testament of unyielding faith.”
Anderson says he made many of the flower arrangements for the funeral on Wednesday.
He says the ceremony was uplifting because her family knows she’s was called home to heaven.