REDMOND, Ore. - In October, Christal and Aaron Walker of Redmond had to do something no parent should ever have to: say goodbye to their daughter.
Avrey was just 10 years old when she lost her battle to leukemia.
"We felt their love and we felt their push from the community through our whole journey," Aaron said Friday. "Not just for a week, or a month, but for six years, this community has just helped us. And I just felt like we'd love to give back somehow, some way."
Support from the community inspired them to create a scholarship fund in Avrey's name, to keep her memory and her spirit alive.
"We wanted something to remember her and to choose a child who was deserving, resilient and had obstacles that they overcame that school year," Christal said.
A senior from both Redmond high schools will each receive $1,500 toward college from Avrey's Scholarship Fund.
Applicants must write an essay explaining why they feel they deserve the scholarship.
The Walkers are having a hard time picking just one.
"The 'keeper pile' stack is really big, and we are going through these just like, 'Wow, we'd really like to give every one of these kids a scholarship, would be awesome,'" Aaron said.
The money for the kids is generated entirely by donations.
On behalf of Mid Oregon Credit Union, Co-Energy Propane and NewsChannel 21, we are paying forward $500.
Rachel Ware, a close family friend of the Walkers, surprised them at home with the money.
"We had no idea," Christal said. "Maddie, our daughter, just said, 'Be ready!' And it was a big surprise, and this is very awesome, and we are so thankful and excited," Christal said.
The Walkers will add the money to the scholarship fund, and hope by this time next year, more students and maybe even more schools can be a part of this.
"We've been so excited all week," Ware said. "My kids every night have thanked Jesus that we were picked and that we have the blessing to give the Walkers this gift, because they are so special."
A special family, who lost a very special girl, is now paying it forward and honoring Avrey's legacy.
"I know that she'll be happy and proud," Christal said.
"I wish she was here to help us pick the right one, but she'll help guide us and pick the right one," Aaron said.
If you want to donate to the Avrey Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund, you can do so at Redmond High School or Ridgeview High School.