Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Eric Taylor's neighbors

Followup of sorts.

From The Noblesville Ledger, dated today.

The Hamilton Heights community has had to grapple with a heavy loss for the past 7 days.

A vicious form of cancer took 11-year-old Eric Taylor, known by fifth-grade classmates and his family for being a kind-hearted boy with a silly sense of humor.

The way residents of all ages have rallied to support Eric's family in the past few months exemplifies the best of small-town compassion....

The story made hearts ache in homes all over the northern Hamilton County community. Eric's classmates raised nearly $4,000 for his treatment. Students never seemed to lose hope that their friend would be back with them to learn about the Civil War, perform in a musical or prepare to go to middle school....

A group of about 30 parents and residents organized a Jan. 27 concert fund-raiser for the Taylor family, and left no stone unturned in promoting it and getting help for it....

The high school football team helped set up and tear down chairs and the stage for the fund-raiser. The eighth-grade honor society, high school girls basketball teams and various clubs helped throughout the day. Homemade food was donated to feed all the bands -- none charged for the concert and one came from West Virginia -- and area stores contributed food to sell to partygoers. Someone donated a hog, and resident Rodney Cummings dressed, cooked and pulled it for sandwiches to sell.

E-mails with fliers about the concert circulated daily from people who worked with someone who knew someone who was related to someone who had a child in Eric's class. One man from Tennessee showed up at the concert and wrote a $500 check.

Internationally renowned bluegrass bandleader Larry Sparks stepped up for the 10-hour concert, as did Diamond Hill Station, Revival Ridge, Jackie Kincaid, The Rock Bottom Mining Co., The Circle City Bluegrass Band, The Bluegrass Briar Hoppers, Friends & Strings, and emcee Cary Allen Fields of The Fields of Bluegrass Radio Hour.

And in the weekend between winning the AFC championship and the Super Bowl, Indianapolis Colts tight end Ben Utecht agreed to make an appearance. He brought a long list of Colts merchandise that concertgoers could buy and have autographed....

It will be hard for the Heights community to enjoy life today, as they say goodbye to Eric at his funeral. They didn't get the miracle so many people wished for, but they can take pride that Eric Taylor lived in a small community where coming to the aid of a friend or neighbor just comes naturally.


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