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Louisville mother to build community center in honor of murdered son

Rose Smith wants to give other children the opportunity to find a better path than the one that ultimately led to her own son's death.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville mother has turned her grief into a mission to do good. She plans to build a community center on the property where her son was killed four years ago.

Last year, Rose Smith obtained the property with the intention to turn it into a community center, but she needed some help.

Since then, WHAS11 has taken on the project with the help of our parent company TEGNA, the TEGNA Grant Foundation, and the Building Industry Association of Greater Louisville.

Smith said, “This is going to be his legacy. Something good. That's what's it all about. You don't know what it means to me right now."

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Surrounded by builders, contractors and city employees, Ms. Rose made her way through the men and women who will be making her dream come true.

"It’s exciting because some of them seem more excited than I am or just as excited. Just as happy, just as joyful because it’s like they get the vision. And I'm just very, very pleased and happy that their taking this journey with me,” Smith said.

Pat Durham, with the Building Industry Association of greater Louisville, was one of the first to take on the project. In front of the home Wednesday, they met in person for the first time.

"We're going to see it through,” Durham told Smith.

Smith said through tears, "Thank you so much."

Emotions were running high, with the realization that Smith will save other boys and girls from the tragic fate that stole her son.

But working with children is nothing new for Ms. Rose. She started the ACE Project, which focuses on kids and building their futures, within months of her own son's death.

The group serves LMPD officers on holidays, does clothing drives and helps the homeless. Smith wants the children to have a safe space to go and grow.

So much of that work will continue, but now they will have a place to do it.

Ryan Band, with Unbridled Homes, took the lead on the project. His leadership will make it possible to organize the volunteers and work that needs to be done.

It’s a project close to our hearts at WHAS11 and we are so proud to be part of.

Ms. Rose summed it up best when she said, " the best is yet to come. Watch what comes out of this. Watch all of the good that comes out of this little house."

If you would like to help out with this project there are many ways to get involved. We are looking for donations of all kinds; money, time, labor, supplies. Contact Shay McAlister by email smcalister@whas11.com or on Facebook to get involved.

►Contact reporter Shay McAlister at smcalister@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@WHAS11Shay) and Facebook.

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