Back in June, tragedy struck the small town of Chandler, IN. A first grader at Chandler Elementary, Isabella "Izzy" Pfingston passed away in a car accident that also claimed three other lives - including her best friend Maddalynn Grimes.

At only seven-years-old, Izzy was just getting started with life. Her biggest worries were getting enough points to attend the Accelerated Reader parties and those dreaded Friday spelling tests. She had many friends at Chandler, including the girls in Girl Scout Troop #99.

To honor Izzy, the Chandler CPT (parent-teacher organization) purchased a crab-apple tree that was planted by the school's playground and decorated with a purple ribbon to signify the purple Izzy often wore to show support to the epilepsy foundation as an epilepsy warrior. It's a place that students and teachers can go and remember Izzy - who they describe as a little girl with big bouncy blond curls and a sweet 'n sassy attitude.

Izzy Pfingston Family

After the students dedicated the tree last Friday, Izzy's Remembrance Facebook page posted this:

Chandler Elementary teachers, staff and students have been so good to us and izzy. I could not have chosen a better school for her! When she started having seizures this year they went above and beyond and accommodated all her needs with no issue. Ever since the accident they have made sure shes not forgotten and still honor her. Her friends at school planted a tree for her on the playground she played at and they will help take care of it. We will watch it grow with the school just like she did. I love hearing that her friends still stop by the teachers and talk about her. Hearing that the kiddos share memories about her around the tree warms my heart. She was so loved and will never be forgotten! 

Izzy Pfingston Family

My daughter is a first grader this year at Chandler Elementary. She remembers Izzy from playground encounters but wasn't close with her. She is friends this year with one of Izzy's friend from Girl Scouts. She told me last night that the little girl talks often about how much she loves and misses Izzy. She calls her her "camp sister." She also told me that she's gone out to the tree with her new friend to pray and tell Izzy that she missed her. It made me remember that little ones at school are grieving her loss too though they may not fully understand the entire concept of death. This tree, which students will water and take care of, will grow and flourish in a place that their friend loved. And each spring, when the pink and white flowers bloom, they'll be reminded that their friend isn't gone - she has just taken on a beautiful new form in their hearts and prayers. 💜💜

Izzy Pfingston Family