HAZARD — A community still grieving a tragedy, which took the lives of three Perry Countians earlier this year, continues to pay tribute to those lost.
Twelve-year-old Taylor Cornett, along with her father Jackie Cornett and cousin Caitlin Cornett, were killed in a domestic related shooting at the Hazard Community and Technical College campus in January, and have been honored with services and vigils since the incident. A “Team Taylor” donation account was even set up to help the family.
Now, Taylor’s former grade school basketball team along with her mother and aunt have found a more permanent way to honor her memory by dedicating a bridge in her honor, a bridge that sits less than a tenth of a mile from her former grade school, R. W. Combs Elementary.
Creator of “Team Taylor,” which has now grown into more than just a bank account for donations, sixth-grader Simone Beverly said she hopes by creating “Team Taylor” and having the bridge dedicated her community won’t forget the amazing girl Taylor was.
“I just hope that people realize with this, that just because someone dies it doesn’t mean they’re forgotten,” Beverly said. “Taylor was more than just some person, she was really good in school, a great athlete, (and) she never got in trouble at school.”
Sergeant First Class Mike Turner, a Perry resident who has been working to have fallen service men of the area honored with bridge dedications in the area, presented a resolution with the team Tuesday morning at the Perry County Fiscal Court’s monthly meeting to have the bridge renamed “The Taylor J. Cornett Memorial Bridge.”
Turner said the basketball team plans to pay for the cost of renaming the bridge themselves, and will be holding fundraisers to raise the money starting Tuesday.
“These girls have decided that they don’t want Perry County taxpayers’ money, they’re going to raise the money themselves through car washes, bake sales, and so on,” he said.
Donations were taken up among the magistrates at the court meeting to help start the ball rolling for the team.
“We hope we can do more things like this,” Beverly said. “We haven’t thought of any yet, but we want to do things to keep her memory alive.”