For a parent, there can be a no more heart-wrenching year.
Todd Storm lost his 19-year-old daughter in a motorcycle crash one year ago Sunday, and he has spent a big chunk of his time pleading with law enforcement to at the very least issue a traffic ticket to the drivers involved in that crash.
The rest of the time, he and his wife, Kimberly, have been planning a benefit to honor their daughter and raise money for a scholarship fund in her name.
“The planning helps us cope,” Storm said. “It keeps us busy.”
On Saturday, Forever 19: The Ashley Morgan Storm Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser will take place at Portside Pizza in Columbia City.
There will be live bands, a hog roast, both a live and silent auction, and plenty of activities for families and children, Storm said.
Money raised at the event will be placed in a scholarship fund set up with the Whitley County Community Foundation. Each year, the Storms would like to give that money to a graduating senior from Columbia City High School who plans to attend the University of Saint Francis to pursue a career in the medical field.
Just as their daughter had done.
“I’m hoping this year, up to 1,000 people can come,” Storm said of Saturday’s event.
Last year, Storm’s daughter was on the back of a 2001 Yamaha sport bike operated by Jacob S. Bunker.
About 11 a.m. June 23, Bunker was traveling south on Hillegas Road when he collided with a pickup that turned in front of the motorcycle.
The resulting crash threw Ashley from the back of the motorcycle. She suffered internal injuries and trauma all over her body.
The benefit will begin at 3 p.m. and costs $10 the day of the event, $20 per family. And it’s something at least one of the Storms wants to continue annually.
“My wife wants to do this every year,” Storm said.