Our View: Excellent leadership shown in honoring Baby Sarah
Donors can also drop by any Alpine Bank branch and contribute to account 8900089528 in the trust of Sarah Ogden, or visit her Go Fund Me page.
We offer praise and thanks to Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire and other Parachute and Battlement Mesa leaders involved in organizing Friday’s memorial service for little Sarah Ogden, who was killed last month. As area residents are painfully aware, her father, Matthew Ogden, will face murder charges in her death, and her mother, Phyllis “Amy” Wyatt is accused of child abuse causing death with criminal negligence.
Besides Friday’s memorial, the leaders formed a committee to oversee a fund for a memorial to Sarah such as a park bench, and toward keepsakes and perhaps a college fund for her surviving twin brother. It also intends to pay for Sarah’s funeral home costs.
This is outstanding and compassionate public service and leadership from Glassmire, who is committee chairman and spokesman; Jed Johnston, Grand Valley Fire Protection District firefighter/chaplain; Karsyn Valencia, Grand Valley Fire Protection District firefighter; Mindy Campbell, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office victim specialist volunteer; and Adam Ford, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Victim Response Team director and co-treasurer.
First, the community — not just Parachute, where the death occurred, but the county and anyone who heard about it — couldn’t help but be horribly saddened and troubled by Sarah’s death, particularly its brutal nature and authorities’ accusations about the parents’ actions.
When we hear of this type of crime, our dismay is matched by our sense of powerlessness. The memorial service and fund create opportunities for people to take some action, to grieve, to contribute to a legacy.
In that legacy is the opportunity for education and prevention — the best possible tribute to a child whose life was taken before she could even crawl. It gives her a chance to speak, to bear witness in perpetuity to unfathomable evil.
Imagine a parent and child sitting on Sarah’s bench, the child asking who she was, the parent providing a compassionate, thoughtful response and the child, as a result, being educated about abuse. Such a bench over time could lead to thousands of gentle words and hugs between parents and children, those precious and normal interactions of which Sarah was deprived as she cried late one night in June.
The fund also will ensure that Sarah’s twin, who was physically unhurt but faces a hole in his life that can never be filled, knows something of his sister — and that some adults cared.
Regardless of whether the fund ever provides him with money for education, a wonderful kindness is being provided by these public servants and donors.
We encourage you to contribute. Some of us at the PI will.
The committee, though it doesn’t have to, proactively said it would make financial records available upon request. Beyond the costs cited above, extra money will go to a Garfield County Colorado nonprofit organization that provides services to child abuse victims and their families.
It is all a beautiful act stemming from a moment of inhuman horror. Thank you, again, to the committee members.
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