Hearse ticketed during memorial, city apologizes and voids tickets

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The hearse and at least two funeral cars were ticketed Thursday during 12-year-old Sami Bannister's memorial. Bannister, best known as #TeamTinyDancer, has inspired too many to count with her courage and kindness while living with a rare form of brain cancer.

Thursday, Bannister's parents Jeremiah and Angela expected about 1,600 to attend their daughter's memorial service at Fountain Street Church downtown Grand Rapids. Loved ones snapped photos of her hearse ticketed and tell FOX 17 they were appalled.

hearse2 hearse3

Friday FOX 17 reached out to the City of Grand Rapids and received a forthright apology from City Treasurer John Globensky, who also released this statement to FOX 17:

"Good Afternoon Dana, 

Thank you for reaching out to my office regarding the parking tickets issued on July 21, 2016 in the Fountain Street Church vicinity.  We were made aware of this unfortunate incident yesterday when an employee from the funeral home brought the three parking tickets issued for their vehicles.  Those tickets have been voided.

The City has received information from the church when a large funeral is expected and Parking Services notifies their staff to avoid this area during the hours of the funeral.  We understand the church has limited parking and thus the overflow winds up parking in metered spaces on the street.  Unfortunately, a newer employee ticketed the funeral home vehicles and would also have ticketed vehicles in that area. 

The City will void the parking tickets issued while the owners were attending the funeral.  They can contact my office at grtreasurer@grcity.us.  Please provide the parking ticket number and we will void the parking ticket.  We will provide a confirmation email in return for the citizen’s records.  It was an unfortunate event and we would like to correct this as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Thank you,

John M. Globensky, MiCPT, CPFIM

City Treasurer"

Family laid Bannister to rest Friday at the veterans' cemetery in Battle Creek as her father served the military. If you would like to donate to support the Bannister family as they continue to pay medical expenses, see their GoFundMe page.

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