DALLAS — A new start doesn’t come with the New Year for three-year-old Sherin Mathews, but a lasting memory does.
“Let me dedicate this bench in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Those were the words a minister spoke while throwing rose petals on a brand new bench in the Restland Memorial Park.
You remember Sherin. She was the Richardson child who disappeared in early October only to be found dead two weeks later, abandoned in a culvert.
With both parents in jail facing charges relating to her disappearance, the public has taken on the task of remembering Sherin.
“I went to a ribbon cutting, and I won the bench,” Gene Champagne said. “When that happened, I thought it would be the perfect thing to use as a permanent memorial for her.”
Champagne won the bench in a raffle, and his idea was to have it dedicated to Sherin with her name and a quote on it. That dedication happened Saturday with an interfaith ceremony and the releasing of doves.
It was all for a little girl mistreated in life but now touching everyone in death.
“I just wish that communities could come together more to keep an eye on the children,” said Kristin Hafer, an investigator in the Mathews case. “They’re our most precious gift.”
“Hopefully things like this will never happen again,” Champagne said. “I hope this is the last bench we ever put here.”