Silsbee community organizing "Silsbee Strong" celebration in wake of tragedies

Donita Banks felt after recent events including Tropical Storm Harvey, Assistant Fire Chief Jay Hinkie's death and others that a day of unity was necessary

SILSBEE - A Silsbee woman and several other organizations are helping to heal the community after recent tragedies.

Donita Banks says after Silsbee’s Assistant Fire Chief Jay Hinkie and former substitute teacher Deborah Sanford Smith, she felt it was important to have a day of healing in the community.

“Our hearts sunk losing two such important people,” Banks said.

The events following Hinkie’s death compounded the tragedies that struck Silsbee, including Tropical Storm Harvey, the death of Tristan Dilley and a house fire that killed Ashley Pickering and her children.

"The children hurt, parents hurt, parents can't perform the best at their jobs or anything else. So we felt compelled that everybody come together to have permission move forward," Banks said.

The Silsbee Strong celebration plans to bring churches, businesses, games and other activities to Kirby Elementary School’s football field on November 29 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Banks feels humbled that she has strong support from the community.

"In order to see the fireworks you have to look up. So looking up is that opportunity to know that we're letting go, we're letting go and we're letting God," Banks said.

Silsbee Strong t-shirts will be sold at the event. All proceeds will go towards a Silsbee Strong scholarship fund, according to Banks.
 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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