Deanna O’Donnell, the news director of Pahrump’s KPVM-TV 25, is thanking members of the community for their support in repairing a memorial plaque for Cassandra Selbach, who died in late January of this year.
The bronze plaque adorned in decorative stone was unveiled during a memorial service at Simkins Park on Easter Sunday this year.
Roughly a month later, O’Donnell, of Pahrump, said the plaque was vandalized.
“I was very upset when I saw it and my heart sank,” O’Donnell said. “I didn’t notify the sheriff’s office right away, but they notified me because they had heard about it and asked if they could take a report from me. I did meet one of the deputies and he took a report.”
Once O’Donnell made an appeal for support to restore the plaque, she said the community stepped up and provided funding.
“We had a lot of financial support from the community and we had some big donors who chose to remain anonymous,” she said. “It was quite a bit of money for the project. The stone was donated by local business owner Ron Murphy, and the plaque displayed a ceramic photograph of Cassandra and her two kids. We ordered the porcelain portion, so it is now back to its original look.”
Additionally, O’Donnell said it was Selbach who began the years-long tradition of hosting a free Easter Day celebration for families throughout Pahrump, complete with games, food and drinks, along with the popular Easter egg hunt.
“A lot of people were devastated over the loss of Cassandra Selbach because she had done a lot for the community,” she said. “I think it is a beautiful stone and plaque to honor Cassandra and her family. She left behind two young kids.”
As a result of the vandalism, O’Donnell said several members of the community are now keeping a closer eye on the memorial plaque.
“I do have people now watching out for it on a regular basis,” she said. “We are hoping that people would admire it, but leave it alone.”
Selbach died of a systemic autoimmune disease at age 35 on Jan. 23, 2019.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes