Ribbons are now being displayed on business windows across the area as part of a tribute to Aleigha Duvall, the five-year old Early Childhood Center student who was killed in a tragic vehicle/pedestrian accident that occurred on Halloween night 2011 while she was trick-or-treating.
The idea to celebrate the memory of the Albany child came about from Albany City Councilwoman Tonya Thrasher, who brought up the idea of doing something to pay tribute to her as well as promote safety awareness on Halloween. Albany Mayor Nicky Smith and the entire council supported the idea.
In remembrance of Aleigha, the mayor, council members and other volunteers put together ribbons to display at all business places and other buildings such as schools and offices throughout the Albany area.
“The concept is for the awareness of her death and it also goes along with the city’s resolution promoting Halloween safety,” Thrasher said during a brief interview along with Mayor Nicky Smith last week.
“Everyone welcomed the idea and were willing to support us in the effort,” Thrasher said.
Some of the ribbons, which will be in windows and on doors throughout October, were placed in some areas last week and the rest were made and hung up on Monday by council members and other volunteers.
Any business that may have been missed and would like to have a ribbon displayed, or any residence that would like to take part in the memorial tribute can obtain a ribbon by contacting Albany City Hall at 387-6011.
Another aspect of the memorial will be roping off a street in downtown Albany to allow persons who wish to hand out candy and other treats on Halloween night to do so in one centralized location.
Mayor Smith said that Jefferson Street, between the south side of the courthouse and the barber shop, would be roped off and any resident–city or county–who wished to participate in trick-or-treating in that fashion could come by and set up a table or spot for trick-or-treaters to come to.
That portion of the event will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Halloween night, Wednesday, October 31. Regular trick-or-treat hours for the city of Albany has been designated for 5-8 p.m.
The mayor said he believed there would be room on the street for several persons to set up if they wished to and although it is something new, it isn’t known how much participation there will be the first year. However, anyone interested in setting up a location to hand out treats in that spot on Halloween can call the aforementioned number or stop by city hall to sign up.
The mayor and councilwoman both said the reasoning behind the downtown area to pass out treats in a centralized location was again, safety factors.
Thrasher also reminded children who do trick-or-treat on Halloween in any area to wear reflective costumes or reflective tape so they can be seen by motorists.
The mayor concluded that he hopes the memorial tribute to Aleigha will become an annual event that helps promote safety awareness at a time that is not only one of the most joyous for children, but also one of the most dangerous.