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Biloxi fundraiser brings aid to La’Mello Parker’s surviving family affected by Hurricane Ida

Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 7:57 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A fundraiser was held Saturday to help the family of La’Mello Parker, the little boy who died tragically in May during a chase from Louisiana to Biloxi.

His family in Baton Rouge is without power and essentials after Hurricane Ida.

A special moment on the court and a gift of hope made their way Saturday to the Parker family.

“Oh it makes me feel happy, you know. People care, you know?” said La’Mello’s uncle Jeremy Parker. “It means a lot, you know. People helping us and coming together as one, you know, and showing that they really care.”

La’Mello was a baby boy killed in the crossfire during a shootout between law enforcement and his father Eric Smith. Smith was the suspected murderer of La’Mello’s mother Christin Parker and her nephew Brandon.

The surviving Parker family members live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and now face even more loss from Hurricane Ida.

John Kemp, Organizer, Yo Gulf Coast

“When I heard that they were struggling, I thought the easiest thing to do is to simply have a fundraiser, and what better way than free throws?” said organizer John Kemp. “Free throws are fun, basically not athletic, and so you can do genderless, you know, ageless. Everybody come out and shoot a free throw.”

Kemp spearheaded the fundraiser with Yo Gulf Coast, a nonprofit advocating for the needs of young children.

“I get a little choked up thinking about it because I had no idea who’s going to show up. We’re right in the middle of COVID,” he said.

With safety measures in place, Kemp said they raised more than $2,500 in less than two hours, with 100% going to the Parkers.

“It was absolutely beyond expectations,” Kemp said.

“I want to thank everybody who’s been helping me and, you know - Justice for La’Mello,” Jeremy Parker added.

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