STEUBENVILLE - Cookie West is inviting a few hundred friends, neighbors and area residents to join her Saturday for the second-annual L.A.W.S Movement After Christmas Familee party at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.
The event was initiated last year to remember Cookie's son, Lee Alexander West, who died early last year during a house fire at their 316 Virginia Ave. home.
"Lee cherished family and sports. So this second-annual event is designed to bring families together for a basketball tournament. The tournament will start at 11 a.m. with free pizza, cookies and punch. Then at 1 p.m. we will hold a family basketball tournament in the gymnasium," said West.
ENCOURAGING FAMILY, SPORTS AND PEACE — Elexis Martin, left, stands with her mother, Cookie West, in the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center gymnasium. West is planning the second annual L.A.W.S. Movement After Christmas Familee party to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center. — Dave Gossett
"A team of five family members can be mom, dad, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles or even grandparents. The only requirement is all team members are blood related. We want to see which area families have the most game," added West.
"Last year we had more than 500 people participate in the after Christmas familee party in spite of a major snowstorm that weekend. The city fire department is going to join us again and I believe we will have a very good time. We called Lee the peacemaker in our family and his peaceful spirit will be evident Saturday," said West.
"There were six teams participating last year and this year we will accept the first eight teams to sign up by contacting me or signing up on Facebook," explained West.
"We anticipate a very peaceful event, just like last year and just how Lee would have wanted it. Even if you don't play basketball you are invited to join us Saturday," West stated.
"The holiday season makes it all harder for me. But God makes it more manageable. Lee always wanted to give back to the community. There are bad things in our community but I want to do things to help promote the positive sides of our community. We all need to promote family, love and Jesus Christ in our lives," West said.
"Everyone I have talked to or met was touched by Lee in one way or another. Teachers, students, adults and children have told me stories of how Lee touched them. So with the help of some really awesome people, we have organized this movement to do what's right in God's sight. We want to promote Christian activities throughout the Ohio Valley's youth and families to help enrich and engage their mind, body and spirit," according West.