“The support we have gotten hasn’t been shocking,” Arvin said. “We are thankful, it means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to the Blubaums and the Arvin family. It is very appreciated, but I guess the biggest compliment I can give Washington is I knew this would happen, so I’m not shocked at all. It’s real neat and great to see us come together as a big extended family.”
Like Ray Arvin, Gary Blubaum has seen the support the Washington community has provided and it’s something that these two families are extremely thankful for, but not at all surprised by.
“The best part for me was last year when everybody in the community gave their time and effort along with all the participants by just being there to show support,” Blubaum said.
Now with more than a year since the tragedy, the memory of the boys lives on throughout the Washington community and Brown said it has given everyone a chance to reflect on glowing personalities that both Derek and Zach possessed.
“It’s a time to keep remembering them and keep their memory alive of what they lived for,” Brown said. “Both of those boys, even though we class them together, they were very different, but both of them had one thing in common and that was Jesus Christ. They were both really involved in church activities, even without their parents. Both those boys lived it through their friends. Derek (Arvin) really stood out, because he was more of the quiet kind, but when he started talking about his religion, that was really a big thing. Zach (Blubaum) was always a jokester and I’ll always remember that and all the stories. With keeping the memory alive with what they lived for is the main thing to keep in people’s memory.”