Family of slain child uses her birthday to help foster children - KPTV - FOX 12

Family of slain child uses her birthday to help foster children

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LAKE MERWIN, WA (KPTV) -

Isabella Smith, whose mother is charged with killing her at a Cannon Beach hotel, would have turned 3-years-old Tuesday.

Family and friends held a charity event in her honor, just a few days shy of the one-year anniversary of her murder.

For Isabella’s loved ones, the day wasn’t about grief, but rather about helping other children in her memory.

At Lake Merwin, friends and families celebrated at the “Isabella’s Wake the World” event.

Wake the World is a group that treats foster children to a day of boating, swimming, wake boarding and any kind of water related fun they don’t normally have access to.

Despite cloudy skies, 15 foster families got involved and had a blast.

According to police, last summer Jessica Smith, mother of Isabella and her older sister Alana, took them to a hotel in Cannon Beach where she allegedly drowned Isabella and cut Alana on her neck and arms.

Alana survived and police caught Jessica Smith in the woods. She is currently in the Clatsop County jail awaiting trial next summer.

Tammy Oppliger, a cousin of Isabella’s father, and her husband Jerry, organized the event and they care for Isabella’s older sister Alana part-time.

Jerry said helping foster children is the best way to honor Isabella’s memory on her birthday.

“Oh, it’s great because she really enjoyed being on the boat with us,” he said. “And I think bringing all this happiness to people is huge.”

Jerry said they hope to makes this an annual event.

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