Children hold lemonade stand for mother killed in crash

by: Craig Lucie Updated:


ATLANTA - The children of a woman killed in a car crash in Douglas County held a lemonade stand Friday to raise money for her memorial.

Nine-year-old Sam and 7-year-old Lucy Downer organized the stand in their Collier Hills neighborhood in northwest Atlanta.

Their mother, Tracy, was killed in July when, witnesses said, the driver of a tractor-trailer tried to beat a red light and it smashed into the car she was in. Michelle Chinnis, 35, was also killed.

Tracy Downer’s husband, Jeff, told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie the support he has received since the crash has been amazing.

“It’s really special that this community pulled together the way they did and the kids created this kind of on their own,” said Jeff Downer.

Sam and Lucy said their mother would be proud.

“She would be happy,” said Lucy.

Every dollar raised will help build a memorial for Tracy Downer in her neighborhood.

“It will be kind of bittersweet to see that, to see her name and the nice structure that it’s attached to,” said Downer.

In the days following Downer’s crash on Thornton Road, neighbors got together and provided meals for her family. Sam told Lucie that residents have been generous with their lemonade and artwork purchases.

“There were three $20 bills,” said Sam Downer after opening an envelope.

Their godmother has stepped in Tracy’s place to help care for Sam and Lucy, and Jeff Downer said his neighbors have gone above and beyond.

“They help me out and help the kids out. It’s been wonderful,” said Downer.

All of the proceeds from the lemonade stand will be handed over to the Greystone Garden Club. They will use it to build the Tracy Downer Picnic Pavilion at Tanyard Creek Park. Anyone who would like to donate can send money through personal PayPal accounts to

Contact Elizabeth Mackie for details on PayPal submissions. She can also set up credit card payments for those who do not have a PayPal account. Email inquiries to her at