LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Two years ago families were excitedly spending the day at a UK football game when Solid Blue fans’ hearts broke after a car hit and killed four-year-old Marco Shemwell as he crossed the street with his dad.
It’s a difficult day for the Shemwell family but they say it’s important they keep up their little boy’s legacy.
“It’s been a roller-coaster these last two years,” says Liz Shemwell, Marco’s mom.
She says the first year after losing her son was filled with staying busy, starting the Marco Shemwell Foundation and giving back to the community that wrapped their arms around her and her family during the most difficult time of their lives.
COVID has slowed things down for them the last several months but this week stops them in their tracks.
“I slept in, maybe it was purposely trying to avoid starting the day,” says Ben Shemwell, Marco’s dad.
Marco would be six now. His birthday would’ve been last month.
And like the year before, the family is putting together birthday boxes for kids in the community.
“Iit’s like a way for us to celebrate his birthday for others and for others to celebrate his birthday with us even though we can’t celebrate with him,”says Liz.
Putting together the boxes with supplies to make a cake and a birthday toy is a community-wide effort.
Llast year, hundreds showed up to the packing party and they were able to donate 1,000 boxes to area schools to give to kids in need.
“It’s important to continue his legacy and to not make it about us as a family, or him, but to continue honoring him and helping people in his memory,” says Ben.
And they say it’s what Marco would’ve wanted.
Ben says Batman was his favorite superhero because of how much he helped people.
“It says a lot about who he was and the kind of heart he has but also about our mission and why we’re so focused on helping people,” says Liz.
They also have a donation drop-off box at the Winchester Kroger.
The packing party will be a lot smaller this year but they’re hoping to make 2,000 birthday boxes for the school year.