ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A St. Johns County field turned into a sea of aqua Monday night as hundreds gathered by the Durbin Crossing North Amenity Center to honor Tristyn Bailey.
The 13-year-old was stabbed to death on Mother’s Day 2021. While her classmate, Aiden Fucci, sits in jail awaiting trial, Bailey’s family is focused on carrying on her legacy by spreading love and kindness.
“We know Tristyn Bailey Strong was strong last year,” Forrest Bailey, Tristyn’s father, said. "We know in the good deeds that have been done in her name over the course of this year and love people have shown with each other, it's stronger than it's ever been
For her cheer family at Infinity Allstars, the vigil brought a mix of emotions.
“It's very nice and heartwarming to see that so many people care and love her. At the same time, it's heartbreaking to know what we're here for and that this is how we've come together,” Tracie Hartkemeyer, Infinity Allstars gym owner, said. “One of the most important things to me is making sure that we're helping our kids cope by letting them know that yes, we will continue to speak of her. Yes, she will still be a part of us.”
Tristyn’s mother shared a message with all the cheerleaders who came out to honor their friend and teammate.
“She loved cheering with each of you from each gym, from Patriot Oaks to Zone to Infinity, she loved each and every one one of you,” Stacy Bailey said.
Tristyn’s family and friends lit candles to remember her light that shines through them.
“I want them to remember her as the sunshine that she was. She just brought such a light to everything she did and positive energy and friendship and family and dedication,” Hartkemeyer said.
Tristyn's parents and siblings, the Bailey 7, encourage everyone to find time to do good.
“Through acts of kindness and love as a community, we can drive out evil together.”
THE FULL STATEMENT FROM THE BAILEY 7:
As a family, we continue to be devastated and overcome with grief at the loss of Tristyn. With time we are learning to deal with carrying this loss forward. We draw our greatest strength from our love of Tristyn and seek to honor her memory in line with her spirit. Our St. Johns and Jacksonville community, her teammates and classmates are simply incredible in the acts of kindness and encouragement for one another. It is in the day to day memories and expressions of love that we best carry Tristyn forward.
We are also working on many lasting ways in which Tristyn’s legacy will support the good. In the next year we look forward to formally announcing many of these efforts. Presently we are working to align with a youth mental health program, a community focused gym that will also support defense classes and a scholarship program. Tristyn’s dedication as a teammate continues to be honored. Saint Johns Middle School Cheer Association, Infinity Allstars Cheerleading, Zone Cheer All-Stars and the Episcopal Eagles Women’s Lacrosse are each recognizing someone within their respective program with a Tristyn Bailey award.
We are deeply appreciative of the many organizations and businesses that have had events to remember Tristyn. From the Aberdeen 5K, Kendra Scott event, POA homecoming game, Outlaws play-off game, Creekside/Episcopal Womens Lacrosse game, POA Spring concert, to the businesses and individuals that show their teal and aqua in support and spread kindess each day, we’re immensely thankful. Going beyond our local community, we have seen how Tristyn’s spirit, memory, and kindness has grown around the world, from countless aqua bows tied up in her memory to painted rocks carried and hidden around the world to share her legacy.
As we take today to reflect upon Tristyn’s memory and the light her passing has inspired, we encourage everyone to find a moment each day to feed the good wolf. Through acts of kindness and love as a community we can drive out evil together.
With Love Always,
The Bailey 7