UNION — Pink was Miracle Smith’s favorite color and on Sunday afternoon her family and friends will remember her by launching pink balloons into the sky at Foster Park.
Smith, 7, died Wednesday afternoon, the victim of an accidental drowning in the Union County YMCA swimming pool. She was found unresponsive in the pool around 2:40 p.m. and was pulled from the water by lifeguards who began performing CPR on her. Union County EMS was called to the scene and began administering medical treatment and then transported Smith to Wallace Thomson Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Smith’s death is under investigation by the Union County Coroner’s Office, the Union Public Safety Department, and the SLED Child Fatality Unit. In a statement released Friday afternoon, Union County Coroner William Holcombe announced that the results of an autopsy performed on Smith’s body on Thursday confirmed that her death was consistent with an accidental drowning. Holcombe said the investigation is nevertheless continuing and that more statements may be forthcoming after the SLED Child Fatality Unit completes its investigation.
The Union County YMCA is also conducting its own investigation of the incident while also cooperating with law enforcement in their investigations. Director Scott Sandor said that the organization is always reviewing its policies and procedures to improve safety and that based on the outcome of the ongoing investigations will further examine its policies and procedures accordingly.
Smith was a student at Foster Park Elementary School where she would have been in the second grade in the new school year.
In the wake of her death, FPES is holding a “Benefit for the family of Miracle Smith” today (Saturday) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the school cafeteria. A flyer issued by the school publicizing the event states that all funds raised will be used to help Smith’s family with funeral expenses.
The fundraiser will be a hot dog and bake sale with hot dogs costing $1.50, chips 50 cents, and drinks 50 cents. Hot dog plates consisting of two hot dogs, chips and a drink will also be on sale for $4.
The bake sale portion of the fundraiser will involve baked goods for sale for the prices marked.
Jennifer Roark, Grade Chair and Second Grade Teacher at Foster Park Elementary, announced Thursday that, in addition to the fundraiser at the school, an account has been set up at Arthur State Bank for persons who want to make a donation to help Smith’s family. Persons who made a donation to Smith’s family through the account at ASB by check should make their checks out to the Miracle Smith Fund. Like the fund raises at today’s benefit, the donations made through the ASB account will go to help Smith’s family with funeral expenses.
In addition to announcing the bank account, Roark also urged everyone to wear pink in honor of Smith’s memory. Pink, which was Smith’s favorite color, will also play a prominent part in a memorial planned by her family for Sunday afternoon
“We took food over to the house around 1 o’clock yesterday,” FPES School Secretary Shirley Mitchell said Friday morning. “The family told us they plan to have a pink balloon release Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Foster Park. Pink was her favorite color.”
Mitchell said it was her understanding that the public was invited to attend and participate in the pink balloon release in Smith’s memory.
While the the fundraiser wasn’t scheduled to begin until this morning, Mitchell said that school has already received a number of monetary and other donations in support of its efforts to help Smith’s family.
“We have had a lot of donations,” Mitchell said. “We have been truly amazed and blessed at all the turnout. We had one girl who brought in 30 cases of drinks for the hot dog sale. Before I left school yesterday we’d had several donations of a hundred dollars or more. We’ve received more than $600 at the school. The citizens of Union County have just been wonderful.”
Miracle Smith, 7, died Wednesday afternoon, apparently as a result of drowning in the Union County YMCA swimming pool. Smith’s school, Foster Park Elementary School, is holding a fundraiser today from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with all proceeds going to help her family with funeral expenses. Smith’s family will have a pink balloon release at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Foster Park in her memory. This photo of Miracle Smith is taken from a flyer issued by the school publicizing the fundraiser.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.