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The Suburbanite
  • Choosing to remember, celebrate Grayce's life

  • “Amazing Grayce: A Celebration of Life.” will be held Saturday at Stadium Park to celebrate all of the things that Grayce Blankenship loved most: Giggles and playtime, friends and treats.

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  • This one’s for Grayce.
    Because she was truly amazing.
    Eight-year-old Grayce Blankenship was one of those little girls who saw the world as it should be seen. She savored the little things life has to offer. She played and giggled and loved with the kind of passion that everyone should.
    That is how her family chooses to remember her. Today and every day since the day they lost their beloved little Grayce, the family has treasured the ways in which Grayce embraced life.
    In September 2010, Grayce’s father, Kyle Blankenship, shot and killed his daughter and wife, Ann Urbas-Blankenship, before taking his own life.
    In the days since the tragedy, Jeanne Urbas — Ann’s mother — has felt the love and warmth of the entire community.
    “People, all of the time, are asking ‘what can we do to help?’ ” Jeanne said. “The past year has been overwhelming. A lot of people have wanted to do something in memory of Ann and Grayce, and we wanted to give them that chance.”
    On Saturday, Grayce’s family is going to throw one incredible memorial party. Paying tribute to the little girl who loved and lived life to the fullest, they invite the entire community to attend “Amazing Grayce: A Celebration of Life.”
    “That’s really what the whole thing is about — a celebration of life,” Jeanne said. “This all started with Pastor (Mark) Oster at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. He came up with the idea of ‘Amazing Grayce’ and we decided what to do from there.”
    The event, slated for noon to 4 p.m. at Stadium Park, is designed to celebrate all of the little things that Grayce loved most. Giggles and playtime, friends and treats.
    Children of all ages are welcome to attend with their families. There is no cost for games, activities and snacks which include dancing, bouncy houses, face-painting, yoga demonstrations, cotton candy and popcorn.
    A cornhole tournament will take place at the event and it’s the activity that has a charge. The cost is $5 per person but the winner will take home most of the entry fees. The second-place finisher will have the entry returned.
    Jeanne is quick to note that the family is hosting “Amazing Grayce” as a way to give back to the community that has given so much to the family in the last year. It’s a chance to bring everyone together to celebrate the life of the little girl who loved unconditionally.
    “Rather than remembering and focusing on the tragedy of what happened, we want to remember the life that she had,” Jeanne said. “Grayce was fun, energetic — a wonderful, wonderful child. That is why this is geared toward children.”