- Paris Flash
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More than 100 people gathered at Woodall Field to release 200 balloons in memory of 8-year-old Joe Dale Morrison on Saturday.
“His parents said today is a celebration of his life,” said Krissy Crites, executive director of the Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society. “I’m sure he’s up there celebrating with each and every one of us.”
Joe Dale died Dec. 22 during surgery in a Temple hospital. He loved playing Buddy Baseball in Paris for two years before his family moved to Killeen. Buddy Baseball is a program RRVDSS conducts through the Optimists. Registration starts in February, with play continuing on Field 7 at Woodall Field until May.
“I’m thankful to the Optimists for giving the Down Syndrome Society the opportunity to play Buddy Baseball so he could come out with us,” Crites said.
The balloon release was set for 2:30 p.m. on Field 7, the same time his parents conducted a memorial balloon release in Killeen.
The balloons were red, blue and gold. Red was his favorite color – and the color of his team, the Heat – while blue and gold represented his time with the Cub Scouts. Around 150 people showed up to release the balloons to the wind.
“When I pulled up, I saw all the cars, and I said, ‘Are they all here for Joe Dale?’” Crites said. “I started crying.”