Tragedy brings community together

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Like any meaningful celebration, the one held last Sunday to burn the home mortgage of late Pelham Police officer Philip Davis was filled with great joy, happiness and more than a few tears.

People from throughout Pelham and Shelby County came to celebrate what they had accomplished together and to cap off what had been a local fundraising effort of unprecedented success.

The ambitious undertaking to retire a $200,000 mortgage in less than two months is something most anyone would shy away from simply because of fearing failure or because of the enormous amount of work required to get it done.

Not so in Pelham, with leadership from churches, city hall, the police department and community members alike; no one shied away from the tremendous task at hand nor the importance of getting it done.

As best one can tell, fundraisers were held in every community in Shelby County to raise money to retire the Davis mortgage; hot dog luncheons and car washes to phone calls and letter campaigns. Amazing that support for the Davis family came not just from the community officer Davis served and where he raised a family, but from every corner of Shelby County. Amazing, but no surprise for those of us who call this community home.

Taking a circumstance of great mourning, anger, sorrow and disbelief and turning it into something that creates the greatest spirit of community togetherness this newspaperman has ever witnessed, is nothing short of miraculous and indeed worthy of great celebration. Philip Davis’ widow Paula and their small children have the security of knowing they have a place to call home thanks to the effort and leadership of so many in our community.

Somehow, a great tragedy has become something that brought together a city, its public servants and the greater community of Shelby County.

If you are looking for what makes Shelby County a special place to live and work, you just found it.