The Summerwood neighborhood has experienced its fair share of tragedy over the past several months.

So residents of the Worthington Schools neighborhood, which is in Columbus off Hard Road and just west of Worthington Kilbourne High School, planned a community-blessing event to strengthen the ties that bind.

The blessing was held June 23 on the Saunderlane Road cul-de-sac.

Kim Paris, one of the event organizers, said she and the other organizers, Diana Smith and Carol Dalton, wanted to do something to support the community, but they did not want to intrude.

"We want to uplift and support, no matter what you're going through," Paris said.

Some local families had experienced losses: Residents Steve Massey, 64, and Drew George, 21, recently had died from cancer.

George was a 2016 graduate of Worthington Kilbourne who died June 14 after his third battle with leukemia.

Another family is dealing with a serious injury.

John Katsares sustained a spinal-cord injury while bicycling with his children in May and still is recovering. He has been unable to work at FitPlus+ at 2530 Billingsley Road, Columbus, the personal-training gym he owns with his wife, Elizabeth.

Misfortune has struck in other ways, too: A neighborhood dog, Ziggy, is recovering after being hit by a car.

Paris said she and Smith had the same idea to plan an event in support of their neighbors.

They reached out to Dalton, who contacted the Rev. Ginny Teitt, pastor of Concord Presbyterian Church in Delaware, who had been teaching based on the "The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door," by Dave Runyon and Jay Pathak.

Smith and Paris said the organizers came up with the idea to paint rocks in addition to the blessing.

Teitt gave the blessing and had community members speak aloud about those they were thinking about.

Teitt said the rock painting "is a symbol of an ongoing support system."

Paris and Smith said they then learned from Steve Massey's wife, Regina, that her late husband's nickname in high school was "the Rock."

"We have so many connected dots in this story," Paris said. "From a thought came an event, but it's also tying in a lot of stories we didn't know about."

Elizabeth Katsares said her family is really thankful for the sense of community in the neighborhood.

"You can just tell that everyone here are good people," she said.

Regina Massey said she was thankful for the event and the show of support.

"I'm very touched and I'm overwhelmed that they would do this for us," she said.

During the event, Dalton announced the neighborhood once again would have a basketball court. She said it would be rededicated in honor of George, who played on it as a child.

"We miss having the children's laughter," she said.

Paris said the organizes hope the event would encourage neighbors to do small things, like walking someone's dog or getting mail.

"We may not know what is happening behind closed doors, but we can help," she said.

GoFundMe accounts also are available for both the Katsares (gofundme.com/katsares) and George (gofundme.com/ drewgeorge) families.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekOlivia