Elkhart gets a new heart to remember victims of Martin's shootin - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart gets a new heart to remember victims of Martin's shooting

Elkhart gets a new heart to remember victims of Martin's shooting

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A new piece of artwork now sits outside the Martin's at the Cobblestone Crossing Shopping Center in Elkhart.  It's the same Martin's where two women were killed in a shooting in January.  The painted heart was placed near the grocery store to remember the victims, Rachelle Godfread and Krystle Dikes.

The heart was donated by the Elkhart General Hospital Foundation.  The words love, hope, and unity are painted on one side.  Dikes mother, Juanita Whitacre said, "I felt like the words on the heart were perfect: love, hope, unity.  This whole event has given a lot of people hope.  It has brought the community together in such a great way."

Juanita Whitacre said after her daughter's tragic death the community has shown her a lot of love, hope and unity.  "The support has just been, I felt it lifting me and helping me through the whole thing...this whole event has given a lot of people hope, it has brought the community together in such a great way."

That's what the heart symbolizes.  Martin's CEO Rob Bartel spoke at the unveiling of the heart and said,  "this was an example of folks refusing to be defined by evil."

President of Elkhart General Hospital, Greg Losasso, also spoke at the event.  He told the crowd, "It was a very tragic circumstance.  What we're doing today I hope is simply going to reflect on a way for everybody here when you're going by Martin's now to take a moment to remember all the good things about this community."

The artwork was donated by the Elkhart General Hospital Foundation.  It signifies the community's strength and support but also serves as a way to remember Rachelle Godfread and Krystle Dikes.  ""I think she would love it, she was a big artist, she loved all things art," said Whitacre, "everytime I drive by, which will be everyday, I'll see it and think of her."

 The victim's names are etched into a plaque at the base of heart.
 
Dikes' mother said this is just the latest sign of support from the community.  After the tragedy a campaign started called "Elkhart Strong."  She said people have been doing random acts of kindness in honor of Krystle and Rachelle and she'd like to see that continue because she said there are still people in our community going through difficult times who could use some support.





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