Family and friends gathered Saturday to send final messages of love and good-byes to Shaylin Foster, 17, during a balloon release.
People filed onto the track at Grovetown High School’s football field at sundown clutching balloons, while others took turns using markers to write messages of love and remembrance for their friend.
“Shaylin’s father and I would all like to thank you guys for coming out and being part of this and being part of Shaylin’s life and celebrating her life,” her mother Chasity Foster said to the group before the balloon release. “Shaylin, I think, very much led by the warrior spirit and warriors lead the way and I think Shaylin led every aspect of her life. I hope that her life will continue to encourage all of you to lead the warrior way and Shaylin’s way. Thank you guys all so much for loving her the way you did.”
Shaylin was killed in a car accident Wednesday morning.
The group held a moment of silence before sending their messages into the evening sky at 5:15 p.m., symbolizing Shaylin’s birthday, May 15.
Grovetown High School junior Talisha Mauro, a friend of Shaylin, said the attendance was a testament to how much Shaylin was loved.
“She’s just beautiful and I’m happy that so any people love her because she deserves all of these amazing messages that are going to her today,” Mauro said.
Many stood arm in arm, and the crowd was silent until the last balloon faded from view.
Shaylin’s funeral was held earlier in the day at Wesley United Methodist Church in Evans.
Shaylin was on the Grovetown High School Homecoming Court and the Prom Committee, and was recently accepted into Georgia Southern University. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club.
At Grovetown High School, she played on the Arsenal soccer team, travel soccer team, cross country and track. She was serving an internship with the Department of Defense. As a musician, she played the clarinet and the guitar. She was very active in her church, including a recent mission trip to Belize.