Memorial service planned for baby Sarah Ogden
A public memorial service for Sarah Ogden will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Cottonwood Park in Parachute.
Sarah was just over a month old when she died on June 20 in what the County Coroner’s Office later determined to be a homicide. Her twin brother was taken into protective custody and her parents, Matthew Ogden and Phyllis Wyatt, fled to Minnesota, where they were arrested on felony warrants. With Sarah’s parents in custody, arranging the ceremony fell to a committee of local community leaders.
“The goal is to really be able to remember Sarah even though most of us never really met her in person,” said Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire, spokesperson for the group. “We thought that it would be a good opportunity to maybe have some closure. There’s a lot of people, from the firefighters that were on scene to the nurses in the ER, that have all kind of been affected.”
Jed Johnston, Chaplain for the Grand Valley Fire Protection District, will officiate the nondenominational event.
The group is also raising money for a permanent memorial, such as a bench. Any leftover funds will be used to cover the cost of cremation and memorial keepsakes, to support a local nonprofit which serves child abuse victims and their families and possibly to furnish a college fund for Sarah’s twin brother.
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“It could potentially provide a little bit of a head start for this kid who’s had a rough beginning,” Glassmire said. “We figured, based on the circumstances, that a lot of people may donate, and it would exceed the cost of the project, so we set funding priorities for people to know where their money’s going to go.”
Donations can be hand-delivered to any committee member — Glassmire, Johnston, firefighter Karsyn Valencia, teacher Mindy Campbell or victim response team director Adam Ford. Donors can also visit any Alpine Bank and donate funds to the benefit account 8900089528 in the trust of Sarah Ogden, or go to Sarah’s Go Fund Me page: gofundme.com/sarahogden.
For more information, visit facebook.com/rememberingsarahogden.
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Ivan Jackson joined LIFT-UP as its new executive director in August.