Natalie Fossier may have only been nine years old when she was tragically killed, but her too short life will now continue to inspire and help others forever.
David and Melissa Fossier, in conjunction with the Clermont Community Fund and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, have created a fund in the memory of their daughter Natalie, who was killed by a falling ice-covered tree branch in Miami Township as she walked her dog Angel in Feb. 2007.
Natalie Fossier, who admirably had many charitable and philanthropic interests in her nine years of life, loved animals – she raised money for the Clermont County Humane Society by setting up lemonade stands – and loved to sit with and keep senior citizens company, and she was concerned with the education and reading comprehension of her fellow Milford students.
All of the memorial funds raised in Natalie’s name will go towards helping the Humane Society, the county’s homeless population, senior citizens in the community, and the many students in the Milford School District.
"She was a remarkable little girl with a huge heart," Fink said. "The Natalie Fossier Fund will be a way for her family to perpetuate her memory, remember their daughter, and to especially, help others."
The fund is a small starter builder fund, Fink said, that started with only $500 last fall; it has now reached more than $32,000 for Natalie's benevolent interests.
In addition to the Natalie Fossier Fund, her parents, friends, and supporters started a 5K Run in her name last year. It will become an annual event and this year's run will be held July 12 at the Miami Meadows Park.
"We had the idea for the 5K Run event in Natalie's name last year," said father David Fossier. "The memorial fund through the Clermont Community Fund came into being because of that. Sponsors of the run were asking us if we had a non-profit tax deductible I.D., and that's how we hooked up with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation."
The Fossiers, who find solace, and even a little bit of irony, in the fact that an unassuming, quiet, and shy girl that never coveted attention, will now be known and remembered by everyone that her incomplete life will hopefully touch in the future.
"She would be very happy and honored knowing that she is helping others," Melissa Fossier said. "The fund, which will help animals and the many people that she loved so much, well, it's like a part of her will be sprinkled everywhere - that will be her legacy, and we are grateful for that."
Natalie's death left a large void in the lives of the Miami Township family, and indeed the Clermont community, but the Fossiers said that the memorial fund, and the comforting thought that her life will continue to have meaning, helps them with the healing process.
"The funds in Natalie's name are important and we think that they can make a difference, but that is only part of our mission," David Fossier said. "We want to also share and spread the message of how important family and relationships are. We need to appreciate what we have every day, because things can change in a moment, and Natalie knew that."
Now, with the Natalie Fossier Memorial Fund, Clermont County knows it too.
For more information about the Natalie Fossier 5K Run on July 12, to make a tax-deductible donation to the Natalie Fossier Memorial Fund, or more information on the charitable works of the Clermont Community Fund and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, visit www.greatercincinnatifdn.org.