OGDEN -- Dozens of warm-hearted volunteers arrived in 30-degree weather Tuesday night to tie blue ribbons for a community showing of mourning for slain Ogden Police Officer Jared Francom.
Volunteers tied large blue ribbons and placed them along today's funeral procession route from the Dee Events Center to the Ogden City Cemetery.
They tied small, blue-and-black ribbons for police officers to wear at today's remembrance ceremony, and small blue ones to give especially to children who will line the streets for the procession and for others who will attend the funeral.
"This is the community basically saying how grateful we are," said Mindy Skougard, of Clearfield, an organizer of the event.
"I call it our community hug."
Skougard is the wife of an Ogden city reserve officer.
"We want to get through to the family when they drive down the road," said fellow organizer Tom Evans, of South Ogden. "They can see how much the community was caring for them and Officer Francom."
Other volunteers said they had no family connections to police officers. They just wanted to show their concern and support.
All of the work was done outdoors Tuesday night. Volunteers gathered around tables on the Ogden Amphitheater stage to do the tying.
"There were not many inside facilities we could come up with at short notice," Skougard said.
She said the idea originated at 9 p.m. Monday and grew throughout the day Tuesday to include promises of support from hundreds of people who found out about it.
Skougard, Evans and other supporters of the effort also are lobbying for city officials to change the name of the Ogden Amphitheater to the Jared Francom Memorial Theater.
A contractor, Evans said he was working at the Marshall White Center a few days ago when the idea came to him.
"Since it hasn't happened since 1963, what better place to honor this officer," Evans said, referring to the last time an Ogden officer, Marshall White, was killed in the line of duty.
"It was just an idea. People are behind it," he said, noting that since a candlelight vigil was held there Thursday, the theater was an ideal place to have named for Francom, but he acknowledged the power of Ogden officials to make the decision.
"We're not trying to pressure them or anything," he said. "It's the idea. They've heard us."
Evans said a park or some other facility named in Francom's honor also would be a fitting tribute to the memory of the officer.
On Tuesday night, volunteers of all ages participated in the ribbon-tying effort.
"He was a nice police," said Talya Martinez, a 7-year-old from Clearfield.
She tied ribbons alongside her sister, Penny, 8, and her brother, Reed, 12.
Their mother, Totchona Martinez, said she and her children wanted to help because Francom was her brother-in-law's cousin.
"I was worried," the mother said about the cold weather in which she brought her children to work.
"I think putting them to work, they are getting all warmed up."
Talya got excited as she named all the places she was expecting to see the ribbons she was tying -- on the trees and the houses, even the chairs, she said, pointing to the chairs surrounding the amphitheater.
"Community support to me is one of the most important things we can do," said Tracy Wiedmeir, of Roy.
"The good does come out in people when something bad happens. We want all of the families to understand that we are behind them 100 percent. Our heart goes out to all the police officers. We wish them the best."
"Everyone needs to know how important it is that the officers are putting their lives on the line," said fellow volunteer, Jeri Currier, of Ogden.
"Officers aren't people to be afraid of. They are there to help everyone no matter what."
Evans said he's hoping for more volunteers Thursday to help him and his crew take down the ribbons they've placed throughout the city.
"The bottom line is that the city made us promise to clean them up," he said. "The biggest thing is, they don't want to see them collecting in the gutters."
Organizers said the effort was an outgrowth of a "Remembering Ogden Police Officer/Agent Jared Francom" Facebook page.
Some participants said they have been excited to see people change their Facebook profile pictures to images that indicate their support of Francom as well as the five officers injured in the incident that took Francom's life.