Slain officer and his wife created 5K run for Down Syndrome - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Slain officer and his wife created 5K run for Down Syndrome

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Amy and Jason Ellis with their sons Hunter and Parker. Amy and Jason Ellis with their sons Hunter and Parker.
The Ellis family. The Ellis family.
A blue ribbon is wrapped around every light post, every street sign and every doorway in Bloomfield. A blue ribbon is wrapped around every light post, every street sign and every doorway in Bloomfield.
Diana Merzweiler Diana Merzweiler

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - On the day slain Officer Jason Ellis was put to rest, much of the focus was about his love for the law. But others remind us, nothing came before his job as a husband and father.

People who got a chance to know Jason Ellis and his wife Amy as parents said the couple loved nothing more than spending time with their two boys.

They also took pride in helping other families just like them.

In the community of Bloomfield, near Chaplin, a blue ribbon is wrapped around every light post, every street sign and every doorway. It's a symbol that people there will wrap their arms around Amy Ellis and her two young sons in their loss of a dedicated husband and father.

"If I've ever seen a man who was head over heels in love with his wife," said Jason's Brother-in-law Brandon Young, "It was Jason." 

"You could just see what love they had for each other," added Diana Merzweiler, the Executive Director of Down Syndrome of Louisville.

Merzweiler wants everyone to know this about Officer Jason Ellis, "He's a family man from head to toe."  Ideal parents, that's how Merzweiler describes Jason and Amy. She said the two sought out Down Syndrome services for their oldest son Hunter, but also made sure both sons had balanced lives.

Young spoke to mourners at Jason's funeral, "His two children, Hunter and Parker were unquestionably his pride and joy."  Jason, a talented catcher in the minor leagues didn't want to be on the road away from his boys so he left his dream of playing baseball behind.

His Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said of that decision, "He decided it was just time to give it up and come back home."

For all he lost on the baseball field, he well made up for in love. He took his sons to see the Cincinnati Reds play and took on coaching duties for the boy's tee ball games.

With Hunter, the family took part in Down Syndrome of Louisville play groups and potluck suppers.  They also went a step further by giving back. "Amy and Jason have organized for the last few years in their town of Bloomfield, a 5-K run to raise money for our annual Down Syndrome Walk," Merzweiler said.

Runners lined up for Jason and Amy. The annual race has been a big win for the organization from start to finish. "That's what I call extraordinary service," Merzweiler explained," It's what Jason stood for and what Amy stood for."

Merzweiler said the action meant the world to the families who have children with Down Syndrome by raising awareness and hopefully connecting to other families.

"The dollars are wonderful," Merzweiler said, "But it's that ambassadorship that the Ellis family did here in Bloomfield and I think that is tremendous."

Down Syndrome of Louisville has designated a brick for it's Life Long Learning Center to honor Jason.

The 5K race that Amy and Jason started takes place in September.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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