LAVON, TEXAS - The days are hardest after losing someone. More than 25 of Ally Hooten's classmates, friends, and family joined together at a cemetery.
"You never expect to have to come to a cemetery to sing Happy Birthday to your daughter," said her mother Jana Hooten.
On Friday, Ally Hooten would have turned 17 years old. Her life was cut short after an ATV accident in January in Nocona, Texas. She was riding with a younger sister and a friend. Texas DPS told WFAA it appeared the three girls were riding on the shoulder of the road when a vehicle rear-ended them.
All those who had arrived at the cemetery were in some way connected to a young woman connected to her faith.
"When we show people who she was we're gonna show them who God is," said Jana.
Ally was a student and star athlete at Wylie Preparatory Academy. It is a small Christian private school.
"She was engaged in every sport. She would play six-man football if her mom let her," said Trent Chambers who is Vice Chairman of the school board.
She was known by the number she wore on her jersey: 22. A part of Ally's legacy lives in the building of a gym for her classmates.
"She always dreamed of how awesome it would be to play in their own gym," said her father Steve.
It's a $4 million project that is just getting started. Chambers says they need funding and prayers to make the project happen. A special gala and a 5k race are planned for the fall.
"When they see 22 on that building, they're gonna think of Ally," said Chambers.
Ally's wish was to play in her own gym before she graduated. She would have been a junior this year and the family tells WFAA that the timetable for that goal still stands.
"Deep down that's our goal. I want to see the classmates that were here with us today. I want to seem them play in that gym," Jana said.
On this day, we are reminded that Ally's legacy is a gift that she gives everyone else.
Donations can be made to help fulfill Ally's legacy here.
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