Faithful Friends fund honors Lillie Edwards

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gifts will memorialize girl’s love of animals
By Mark Wineka
SALISBURY — Though she was only 6, Lillie Edwards told people she never planned to get married.
She wouldn’t have time, she said, because there were too many animals for her to take care of.
Lillie, who had a congenital heart defect, died a month ago while playing.
“Lillie lived and breathed animals, and she wanted to have an animal sanctuary when she was older,” says Kelly C. Fisher, whose daughter, Delaney, was one of Lillie’s best friends.
Soon after Lillie’s death, Lillie’s mother, Liz Edwards, told Fisher how meaningful it would be to see some kind of memorial or event remembering Lillie in connection with the Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary.
Liz Edwards’ father, Bill Currey, started the ball rolling by setting up a fund and collecting donations for it back in his hometown of St. Albans, W.Va.
Now Fisher would like to put out the word to Rowan Countians about the special fund, proceeds from which will go to Faithful Friends in Lillie’s memory.
So many people, grief-stricken by Lillie’s death, have carried a helpless feeling wondering what they could do for the family, Fisher says. Donations to the new fund at the animal sanctuary would be a great gesture, she says.
Lillie was never defined by her heart defect nor the operations she had over the years, Fisher says. Rather, the little girl was better described by animals, her drawings and a big imagination.
Lillie and Delaney Fisher’s activities together often revolved around animals. Lillie imagined she had a super-hero team of her favorite stuffed animals, and the girls described rescuing animals and carrying them up a ladder to a safe place in the sky.
They often talked about this rescue world for animals, Fisher says.
But the girls also helped real animals in need. Last summer, they provided foster care for a litter of kittens rescued by Faithful Friends.
Lillie’s favorite was a yellow kitten she named “Ricky.”
For OctoberTour, the girls had planned to set up a lemonade stand in the Fishers’ front yard on South Fulton Street, so they could raise money for Faithful Friends.
They fashioned signs and spent weeks planning for the stand, but things fell through at the last minute when Kelly Fisher faced a health issue and Lillie’s aunt, who was pregnant, went into labor on OctoberTour weekend.
Kelly Fisher says Lillie, when she spoke of her future rescue sanctuary, described how she would need a big farm that wasn’t muddy.
She also planned to become a veterinarian so she could save on costs and take care of the animals’ medical needs herself. Lillie had a toy veterinarian set, complete with a doctor’s outfit. She often administered to the medical needs of her stuffed animals.
Lillie and her family had two cats and a dog named Beauregard, whom she adored.
“Beau is a sad little dog right now,” Kelly Fisher says.
Thanks to Bill Currey in West Virginia, the fund has a start.
Contributions should go to the Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary, P.O. Box 3097, Salisbury, NC 28145. Fisher says people should include a notation that the donation is being made in memory of Lillie Edwards.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.