Corey Brown memorial bench unveiled at Animal Rescue League

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS
Corey’s family said the bench was a sign of the community’s kindness. Pictured, from left are Corey’s father Craig Brown, brother Sammy Brown and mother Michelle Brown. Two other memorial benches will be set up at Miller Middle School in a few weeks.

It has been several months since the tragic news of Corey Brown’s death reverberated through the community, but the 13-year-old boy’s memory will not be forgotten.

A new memorial bench set up at the Animal Rescue League of Marshalltown will help ensure his memory lives on. The bench, constructed from recycled plastic bags from Fareway and Hy-Vee, features a Seattle Seahawks football team logo and was designed with massive help from Corey’s Miller Middle School classmates.

“I’m speechless, honestly,” said Corey’s mother, Michelle Brown, after seeing the bench Friday. “It’s absolutely beautiful. To think that his classmates thought enough of him to want to design something in his honor says a lot about the kind of person he is and was.”

His father, Craig Brown, and brother Sammy were also at the unveiling Friday.

“The love and support of the community has been very overwhelming,” Craig Brown said.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS
Miller Middle School classmates of the late Corey Brown had a big part to play in designing memorial benches like this one unveiled at the Animal Rescue League of Marshalltown Friday.

The bench at the Animal Rescue League will be followed by two more at Miller Middle School, all of which are paid for with grant funding.

Michelle Brown said the bench proves the goodness of Marshalltown youth and community members.

“We feel very blessed and very honored. With everything that’s happened, people have been so kind,” she said. “We have so many good people here.”

Animal Rescue League of Marshalltown Director Shelly Deal said an expansion is coming to the facility thanks to $20,000 in donations from the community in Corey’s memory. The new space will measure about 40×100 feet.

“It will be separated into four different play areas with doggie playground equipment,” Deal said. “The current yard that we have will also be separated for visiting areas.”

She said the idea behind the new area was for it to be fun as well as functional for the animals and prospective owners.

“I wanted something that a 13-year-old boy and his dog would enjoy. I wanted something that Corey would love out here,” Deal said. “It’s also so beneficial in the adoption of these dogs, because right now we have a backyard where you have to go out with the dog on a leash. You can’t get to know the dog that way. This is going to allow six areas for you to let the dog loose and let it play and see its personality.”

There is no specific timeline yet on when the new expansion will be complete, but Deal said construction of play equipment and fencing is currently under way.

Corey was found dead in late January after he went missing for several days. He was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery.

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Contact Adam Sodders at 641-753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com

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