GRANDVILLE, Mich — Less than a week after 7-year-old Ruby Rissley was hit and killed by a car on the way home from school, Zion Reformed Church is planning a fundraiser to help her family.
Rissley was a student at Bursley Elementary, which was Zion Reformed Church's original location. Over the years the church has formed a partnership with the school, developing a day camp, personal care pantry and mentoring program.
The drive-thru spaghetti dinner/fundraiser is scheduled for Friday March 5, from 4 to 7 p.m.
All proceeds will go to the Rissley family.
"We just feel that this is a way that we can reach out to them, let them know that we care and that they're not alone, and to also provide a way for the community to show their support," said Connie Stegeman, one of the organizers. "We are expecting a really good turnout. I think that whenever there is a tragedy like this in the community, it has a ripple effect, and people tend to turn up in large numbers."
Stegeman, who also lost her son, is hoping to support the family, as others have supported her.
Her son Nick was hit and killed by a car when he was just thirteen years old.
"It's so similar, and it really just brings back a lot of feelings," she said. "Our church, the schools, the community supported us and just surrounded us with a village that carried just the most routine things out, to the bigger things...it really helped us hold life together for a long time, and we still have a village that supports us."
Organizers are planning the event to be "COVID safe" with individually packaged meals.
Zion Reformed Church is asking anyone who is interested to sign up first.