Community hosts benefit for Stay family

SPRING, Texas - More than two weeks after a tragic shooting that left six members of the same family dead, a community continues to come together to show their support for the shooting's sole survivor.

Hundreds of people attended an all-day fundraiser and celebration of life in honor of the Stay family at Forest Oaks Park on Saturday.

The event included a barbecue fundraiser as well as music, bounce houses, face painting and rides for children. Though the event was organized as a benefit, organizers said it was about more than raising money.

They said they wanted to bring the community together following the tragedy.

"This is a story that has a bad beginning and a wonderful ending," said Scott Hubert, a friend of the Stay family and an event organizer. "To me, it's about the human spirit overcoming the evil that has been done."

Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Stay was the only survivor of a July 9 shooting that killed her parents, Stephen Stay and Katie Stay, and her four siblings.

Investigators say despite her own injuries, Cassidy Stay was able to call 911 for help. When investigators arrived at the scene, she was able to identify the gunman and then tell them where he was headed next, saving the lives of her grandparents.

In the days following the shooting the community has come together to support Cassidy Stay, raising more than $385,000 online through a GoFundMe account.

Hubert said Saturday's event was also intended to honor first responders. Several of the paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers who attended the event were among the first on the scene of the shooting.

Sgt. George Beck with the Harris County Precinct Four Constable's Office was the first to arrive at the Stay home that day.

"It's been like a family," he said. "The Stays are a part of my family now - I feel so close to them. It's changed my life, the incident. It's just been an overwhelming outpouring of support from the community."

The celebration of life and benefit event continues until 8 p.m. Saturday. Organizers are asking for a $5 donation entry fee, a donation that is reduced to $2 to those who bring items to donate to women's shelters. Barbecue plates and T-shirts are also being sold at the event but the rest of the activities are free of charge.

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