Lee West was a well-liked 15-year-old with what should have been a bright future.
His potential was cut short in a house fire, leaving the community and, especially, his family, with a loss.
Many families would have gone into isolation or tried to forget. But West's mother, Cookie, and her daughters, have turned the loss of a child into something positive to keep Lee's spirit living on.
On Saturday, the West family is hosting for the second year an annual party, the L.A.W.S. Movement After Christmas Familee event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center on Market Street.
The party will begin at 11 a.m. with free pizza, cookies and punch, followed at 1 p.m. by a family basketball tournament. The Wests say the event thus combines two of Lee's treasures: Family and sports.
The tournament teams can consist of any group of blood-related teammates. More than 500 participated in the 2012 inaugural event's party, despite a major snowstorm last year.
A total of eight teams may participate in this year's basketball portion of the event.
The West family is thankful for a peaceful event and the chance to see families enjoying one another's company.
We know nothing can take the place of a son lost at too-young an age. But we also know that it takes a grace-filled, positive person to set the example Cookie West and her daughters set for the community in commemorating their lost son and brother in such an uplifting way.
Our community is blessed by their presence even with the loss of Lee West, and we hope for a successful Saturday filled with the joy of families having fun.