Vidor High School freshman Sierra Leigh-Anne “Si-Si” Phillips died Nov. 11, 2013, when she was struck and killed as she was walking across the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge in Beaumont. Now, months later, her family is still struggling to pay the youth’s funeral expenses and is hoping to create a scholarship in honor of their lost loved one.
Phyllis Livingston, Sierra’s grandmother, said she misses her granddaughter, and they still are not entirely sure under what circumstances she was on the bridge.
“She walked away from the schoolhouse at 4:30 that evening and didn’t get on the school bus. Three hours later, I was identifying her dead body on the interstate,” Livingston said.
Livingston said some people are questioning why the benefit would take place so long after the 14-year-old’s death. She said, of course, her family tried to come up with the funds themselves but have so far come up short.
“We were told a group was going to donate the headstone, but that never happened,” said Livingston. “There was a raffle, but not enough was raised for funeral expenses. It was enough to get a headstone, but that was it.”
She said the Cowboy and Cowgirl Mafia held the raffle but are not in any way involved in the upcoming benefit.
In addition to assisting with Sierra’s final expenses, proceeds raised at the benefit will be used to create a Journalism Scholarship in Sierra’s name through Vidor High School and Lamar University.
“Sierra wanted to be a writer,” she remembered.
The memorial benefit is being held at the Vidor VFW at 2110 S. Main in Vidor on April 6 starting at noon. There will be plenty of live music to entertain attendees. All bikers are welcome to participate in a fun run at $20 per entry. There will be a washer tournament at $20 per team. There will be a bake sale and a dunking booth at the event. A 12-gauge Remington shotgun is one of a number of items to be raffled off that day. Barbecue and beverages will be sold. And that is just a taste of what you will experience April 6. Livingston said the event is sure to have something for everyone.
Call (409) 617-4062 or (409) 553-0917 for more information about the event and how to donate. Visit the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/  groups/611192878962997/.