LINTON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Linton community continues to mourn the passing of 17-year-old Madi Moore, who passed away recently after a battle with Graft vs. Host disease.

Madi was considered an inspiration after beating cancer, but for many, she was so much more than her diagnosis.

For fourth grader Maddy Scharbrough, Madi was a friend and someone whose memory is worth honoring with permanent reminders of her light and her fight.

She was really strong.

Maddy Scharbrough

Maddy Scharbrough and Madi Moore met several years ago through their mothers.

The two girls struck up a friendship, one that meant a lot to the younger Maddy.

Now, in the days and weeks following Madi Moore’s passing, Maddy Scharbrough has chosen to remember her friend by collecting caps and money for memorial benches in her memory.

“I wanted to do it because everybody really loved Madi. She was a big part of school and stuff like that,” said Scharbrough.

Accepted/non accepted items for donations:

What began as a goal of two benches, each requiring donations of 200 pounds of plastic caps and $350, has now blossomed into a project that could very well end in over 20 benches, an outcome way beyond Maddy Scharbrough’s initial expectations.

I thought it was something exactly that Madi Moore would’ve done for somebody else.

Corianne Vanderkolk

I asked Maddy, “what has your reaction been when you’ve seen all of these caps?”

Her reply? “Oh my goodness.”

But the Linton community isn’t surprised to see the outpouring of donations and support. Those close to Madi Moore say the fundraising project reminds them of her generous spirit.

“I thought it was something exactly that Madi Moore would’ve done for somebody else, so it was really cool to see somebody that we’re all grieving for and are missing and the type of person she was, find someone who’s younger and has looked up to her and say I can still reach out to people and I can still do good things and spread Madi’s name along the way,” said one of Madi Moore’s volleyball coaches Corianne Vanderkolk.

Maddy Scharbrough turns nine on August 2, and is asking the community for a specific gift.

“For my birthday, I wanna take all the donations I can get to get more benches,” said Scharbrough.

Benches will be located outside Linton-Stockton High School, near the volleyball gym, at Madi Moore’s church, and several other places throughout the community.

Those places are where Maddy Scharbrough says she hopes people discover a love of God like what Madi Moore had – a love that will allow them to know they’ll see her again in Heaven.

And until the two girls reunite, the younger holds on to the lessons the older taught her: “To keep going, and to be strong.”

To donate money to the Caps 4 Benches GoFundMe, click here. Donated caps must be in clear bags and containers.