Thousands raised in memory of Slidell shooting victim

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Ask any of Mark Womack's family and friends, and they will tell you he liked bringing people together.

"He just loved his family and friends," said Liz Womack, his mother. "Loved having people together." So she found it fitting that more than 200 people gathered at John Slidell Park to remember her late son.

The memorial softball tournament and raffle was planned by Matthew Conn and Joe Hoffman, two of Womack's best friends.

"A couple of us was just thinking what we could do to commemorate Mark's name," explain Conn.

"We thought softball," added Hoffman. "We were all baseball players, so we thought softball was a great idea." Hoffman said, from there, the idea took off and support for the event started pouring in. "People from the community was just giving us everything we needed. We got everything we could ask for."

Money raised will go towards college scholarships for students at Womack's old high school, Slidell High.

Family and friends say Womack was a dedicated Saints' fan. He was about to start his dream internship, working at the Superdome, when the shooting happened.

The 23-year old Womack was killed outside an Olde Town bar in Slidell last December. A fight spilled out onto the street, and police believed it ended when a gunman fired of a handgun into the crowd. Police said Womack got caught in the crossfire. He was one of two men killed and six injured.

Conn and Hoffman say they hope to shine a light of that type of violence, as well as honor Womack.

"It's important for our community to get together," said Conn. "To step out to the plate and knock violence out of the park like our slogan says."

"If we were in his position, Mark would've done the same for us," agreed Hoffman.

Organizers say they've already met the initial goal of $3,000. Donations continue to roll in.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.