Candlelight memorial for Hadley
MILLTOWN - Over 80 people showed up at the Milltown Lutheran Church for a candle light memorial for Baby Hadley on Monday, Feb. 11.
The six-month-old lost his life in Florida on Jan. 28, allegedly at the hands of his mother, who is a 2009 graduate of Unity High School.
Luminaries lined the sidewalk with messages for Hadley. The evening events and short service were coordinated by three area women with a strong passion for helping the families find some peace of mind.
“Heartwarming,” commented Katie Bestland, one of the event coordinators. “In a small community it amazes me how people come together in a time of grieving for a life that was so short. People who offered to help, just amazed me.”
People were offered a chance to talk on behalf of Hadley. Friends, father, grandparents, uncle, and more offered words of inspiration. “I pictured it being my son,” said Krystal Beckwith, another coordinator. “We found that organizing an event like this helped us to channel our anger, to bring the families together,” added Katie.
“We were glad to be able to offer the opportunity for both families to mourn together. Although this was only one service for Hadley, it went much further than that. It allowed help for others to fulfill an empty space in their lives.” said Amanda Bestland, event coordinator. “Donations tonight will help the CRA and Friends of Victims of Violence.”
Area businesses assisted with flowers for the families, candles for the luminaries, a 4-H club baked cookies, and the Leo’s Club provided hot chocolate. People who never even met Hadley came together to make blue ribbons and buttons. Leslie Bestland commented, “I am so proud of these girls for organizing an event like this, it helps so many people. Hadley touched so many lives, of people he never even met.”
Amanda concluded with, “It doesn’t end here.” - submitted by Jeanne Alling with permission from members of Hadley's family