On Oct. 12, 2005, Cassee Rickman tragically lost her life in an automobile accident.
At the time, she was a junior at North Central High School in Pioneer, Ohio, where she was an honor student who loved volleyball, basketball and her favorite sport, softball.
Cassee’s favorite color was any shade of blue. Her favorite place to eat was Burger King. In the winter, she loved snowmobiling with her brother, who also was her best friend, her mom said.
Cassee was an organ donor, and her family takes comfort in the knowledge that her spirit lives on in the lives of the people she saved.
They also want her love of animals to be part of her legacy. An aspiring veterinarian, Cassee dreamed of caring for animals since she was a young child.
“She had a love for animals - all animals,” said her mother, Teresa Rogers, of East Toledo. “Starting at the age of 2, I remember looking for my pots and pans because they seemed to disappear, along with a lot of my bowls.
“My sweet little girl had talked her grandmother, Nonnie, into buying dog and cat food at the store and my little girl had taken most of my pots and pans and a few bowls out to the side of the house filled them all up with dog and cat food for all the strays.”
Though she admired her daughter’s compassion, Teresa told her daughter that she needed the pots and pans to feed Cassee and her daddy.
“She looked at me with the saddest look on her face and said ‘but Mommy, these dogs and cats don't have a mommy to fix them something to eat - all they have is me,’” Teresa recalled.
So Teresa bought new pots and pans. “Our side lot was filled with stray dogs and cats for most of the time,” Teresa said. “And we didn’t even have a pet at that time.”
In Cassee’s memory, her family will sponsor the third annual benefit for the Toledo Area Humane Society Sept. 6 from 2 to 10 p.m. at I.B.E.W. Local 245 Union Hall on Lime City Road in Rossford.
The fundraiser will include a silent auction, 50/50 raffles, food and beverages and live entertainment by Bobby May (2:30 to 3:30 p.m.), P.B.S. – Parades Buffoons and Shenanigans (4 to 5 p.m.), Buzz Anderson (5:30 to 6:30 p.m.), Teolyn (7 to 8 p.m.) and Harry & the Hood (8:30 to 9:30 p.m.).
There will also be a special intermission performance by family members Dustin Whitt and Josh Harris.
Those who cannot attend may also contribute to the Toledo Humane Society in Cassee’s name. Donations may be mailed to the Humane Society, 1920 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee, OH, 43537.