SPRINGVILLE -- "Love, forgive and be worry-free" were just three things that Reesa Kammerman tried to live by during her short life. And it is because of the love she had for so many that her school and community have found a way to give back to her family.
Reesa, 16, was traveling southbound on I-15 on July 12 when she was ejected from the vehicle in a car accident. Reesa died on impact, but was resuscitated at the scene by a truck driver, Adrian Grocock, who witnessed the accident. Reesa was flown to Dixie Regional and then to University Medical Center Trauma Pediatric ICU in Las Vegas where she was on life support for two weeks before dying on July 28.
"We were hoping and praying that Reesa would be OK," said her father, Mike Kammerman. "But although we didn't get our miracle we had so many miracles come out of this experience. There has been so much good."
For the Kammermans -- Mike, her stepmom, Missy, one sister, five brothers, one stepsister and one stepbrother -- the good has come from family friends and strangers.
"While we were at the hospital in Las Vegas, we had people who fed our animals, weeded our yard, helped with our kids and brought us meals," Kammerman said. "The Ronald McDonald House let many of our family stay there. We had people offering up their homes for us to stay in. The outpouring of support has been a miracle."
And the miracles are continuing in the form of a benefit dinner to raise funds to help the Kammerman family with funeral expenses and hospital bills.
Parents, students and faculty at Merit Academy in Springville have organized the dinner, to be cooked by the Merit Academy chef Sharon Warner.
The fundraising meal will include a pulled pork sandwich, corn on the cob, watermelon, coleslaw and ice cream. Entertainment at the event will feature Merit Academy students and Reesa's cousin, Hunter Gifford. Bracelets will also be sold to remember Reesa.
"The bracelets say 'Live, Love, Laugh,' " Kammerman said. "They also have a horse and a guitar on them. As long as Reesa could have music and horses, she could get through her trials and focus on the moment."
Reesa would have been a junior this year and was involved in the many organizations at her school.
"Reesa was a student at Merit and was involved in glee club and cheer," said Jill Gifford, Reesa's aunt. "She was just full of life, despite dealing with some tough things in her childhood. So many people have told us she was their best friend. That just tells you the type of person Reesa was and the way she treated others."
"I am so grateful to the people at Merit for planning this fundraiser," Kammerman said. "But I am not surprised. That is the type of people they are. I am very grateful."
Remembering Reesa, a fundraising meal, will take place on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Merit Academy, 1440 W. Center Street in Springville. If you would like to make a financial donation to the Kammerman family, you may do so at any Chase Bank, where a fund is set up in Reesa's name.