To learn how to make a donation to Kailee's memorial fund, check out the comments on her Facebook remembrance page by clicking HERE.
The city of McCook is still looking for answers in the heartbreaking murder of 14-year-old Kailee Clapp this past January. Eighteen-year-old Stathis Kirkpatrick is charged with Clapp's murder. He pleaded not guilty in March and requested a psychological evaluation and change of location before the trial proceeds. In the midst of the ongoing trial, the McCook community is making efforts to honor Kailee's memory.
Kailee Clapp's murder devastated the residents of McCook in January.
"We've seen a whole community hurting here," Mike Simmonds says.
Now, nearly six months later, Kailee's family, friends and classmates are taking a step forward in their healing.
"We thought if we give them a living representation of Kailee's life, that this would help with the healing process," Simmonds says.
Community members teamed up with Simmonds and the Solo Soul motorcycle club to host a rally and dedicate a tree in Kailee's memory, just down the street from McCook High School, where she was attending her freshman year.
Peggy Waddell's daughter had been friends with Kailee for nine years.
"It's going to mean a lot for the girls of the high school and her life long friends that at least there's a place they can come to now," Waddell says. "They can talk to her and hopefully it helps with some of the healing."
Carrie Clay says attending the tree dedication and rally was helpful for her as one of Kailee's friends.
"It gives me definitely a peace of mind," Clay says. "It lets us know that we have her still here, even though she's away, she's here in spirit."
The Solo Soul riders sold pink ribbons to attach to their bikes, honoring Kailee throughout their riding season and raising money for the Clapp family. They plan to keep their pink ribbons flying in honor of Kailee all year.
Solo Soul member Nate Henning was happy with the turnout of the event.
"The community heard about it, came out, and wanted to support the Clapp family," Henning said.