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Benefit Helps Children Who Have Weathered Tragic Loss

It might have looked like a celebration at the VFW in Spring Bay on Saturday, but underneath the face paint and games was sadness.
SPRING BAY – It might have looked like a celebration at the VFW in Spring Bay on Saturday, but underneath the face paint and games was sadness.

These festivities are part of a benefit for three local children who've lost their parents, Ed McAbee and Sally Gunterman, all too soon.

"If I got stranded in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere I could call sally and she would come find me somehow and that's just the way it was that's how we all were," remembers close family friend Jessica Wagner.

Last August McAbee died in a motorcycle accident, then a few months later his longtime girlfriend Gunterman lost her life. Then Sally's mother passed away, all in just six months.

Left behind are three children; eight-year-old Ryan, 10-year-old Jazmine, and Ed's son, 15-year-old Daniel.

"I just hope that they can get past the humungous struggle that they're going through," said family friend Andrea Coots.

Adriana Wagner is 10-years-old and tried to enjoy the benefit, but said she misses hanging out with her best bud Jazmine. She said their parents would often help babysit.

"You can always remember Sally would take us for ice cream or Ed would take us to the park to play or take us to Chuck E. Cheese’s, we always were going somewhere where we were never bored, we always had something to do," she said.

She said there is one thing she would tell Jazmine and her brother’s if she saw them, "Remember all the good things about her parents to know that they're still, they'll always be with her like always in her heart."

Money raised from food and games will go into a trust fund for college costs and other expenses they might face growing up.

"They still have people that are around them and are willing to do things and go out of their way to make sure that they're provided for, that's our biggest hope that they know they're not alone," Wagner said.

The trust fund is set up at Heartland Bank. Wagner said donations are welcome to the Sally Gunterman Estate, which will be split between all three kids.
 
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