Tonawanda News — In September 2000, when Jacob’s due date would have been, she received a kidney from her mother, a life-saving operation of which she just marked the 13th anniversary.
“That’s why I do what I do,” Scott said. “Of course, if you asked me what I wanted to do when I was younger, working around death and dying would not have been it. I do it because I’m passionate about it.
“I really wanted to keep Jacob’s memory alive. I wanted to find a way to do it.”
In 2007, in memory of Jacob, the Scott family started the Wings of Love Memorial Fund, which aims to ease some of the some financial burden on already grieving parents faced with loss of an infant. Since September 2007, the program has provided more than $30,000 to families throughout the eight-county Western New York area. Through the fund, which is completely run on donations, parents can receive up to $3,500 for burial and other expenses.
However, they also felt a need for a site for parents to commemorate their child, to mourn and mark birthdays or milestones, and memorial gardens were planned at four sites throughout Western New York. The fund received a $40,000 grant from Ingram-Micro, and, after reading a newspaper article about the fund’s work, Keith Barber of Friendship, N.Y., donated plots of land at Acacia Park Cemetery to be used for the garden. Friends of Acacia Park, Wagner Monuments, Stone Art Memorial Co. and Elber Landscape Service also assisted with the site, and the garden was dedicated Sept. 10. (Other garden sites are in progress in Lancaster and planned in the City of Buffalo and the Southern Tier.)
Scott, now also executive director of the network, said that parents will be able to purchase bronze butterflies engraved with their child’s name to place at the site. There are also 28 plots for infants whose families are helped by the Wings of Love fund.