OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Friends and family gathered to remember the life of eight-year-old Sophia Mohler. The third grader died in September, a year after being diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. On Saturday, the Ocean Springs community came together to raise money and hopefully prevent another child from having to suffer.
Danielle Pasquini and her friends had a great time playing games outside the Ocean Springs Civic Center; however, one playmate was missing from the group, Sophia Mohler.
"We grew up together and went to the same school, always hung out with each other," said Pasquini.
With food plates, silent auctions and bake sales, organizers said they're doing all they can to raise $25,000 to launch the Sophia Mohler foundation. The foundation will be dedicated to finding a cure for the kind of brain tumor that took Sophia's life.
"The initials are DIPG. This is such a devastating and non-curable," said Linda Orrison, Mistress of Ceremonies. "There is not much money going into research specifically for that. There is a lot of money going into research for brain cancer in children, pediatric. But this particular thing, the numbers aren't there for them to pour a bunch of money into it."
The Foundation is depending on people like Josh Keen who donated a painting for the silent auction.
Keen said, "It's a great time of the year to help out someone that's less fortunate than yourself, and I'm happy to be here and happy to help out."
Sophia Mohler's family said the overwhelming community support shows how many people she touched in her short life.
"It's evidence that she's still with us. She's still alive and still impacting this community," said Mark Mohler, Sophia's uncle. "It's heartwarming to see the support that the community gives to her and the cause, and it's good stuff. "
Danielle Pasquini said it's nice to see her friend has not been forgotten.
"Because she went through the suffering, and no one ever gave up for the prayers," said Pasquini.
The Shed Restaurant in Ocean Springs will continue to raise money for the Sophia Mohler Foundation. The public can buy bells in the names of children diagnosed with brain tumors. Those bells will hang from a Christmas tree at the restaurant.