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Two years after express trooper's killing, his significant other energizes love and magnanimous giving

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Celebration of life begins for Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard begins at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington Friday. Daniel Sato/The News Journal
Louise Ballard, the wife of Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard, hugs a Delaware State Police Trooper after placing a rose on the Delaware State Police Memorial during the Delaware State Police annual wreath-laying memorial ceremony at the Trooper’s Memorial in Dover.
Louise Cummings woke up Friday morning fully energized — it was the second anniversary of her husband's line-of-duty slaying and she had work to do.

Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen Ballard was gunned down April 26, 2017, outside a Bear Wawa. The killing rent hearts across the state, but Cummings still sees the good.

"Everything works to the good, even if we can't see it," Cummings said. "God has brought this state together and has charged all of us to take every day as a blessing."

Louise Ballard, the wife of Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard, hugs a Delaware State Police Trooper after placing a rose on the Delaware State Police Memorial during the Delaware State Police annual wreath-laying memorial ceremony at the Trooper’s Memorial in Dover.Buy Photo
Louise Ballard, the wife of Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard, hugs a Delaware State Police Trooper after placing a rose on the Delaware State Police Memorial during the Delaware State Police annual wreath-laying memorial ceremony at the Trooper’s Memorial in Dover. (Photo: Jason Minto, The News Journal)



Ballard was in the Pulaski Highway Wawa parking lot when Burgon Sealy Jr. attacked him during a suspicious vehicle check. Sealy got out and fired at Ballard, who couldn't respond and sought cover. Sealy kept shooting Ballard even after the state trooper fell.

Sealy fled to a Middletown home and barricaded himself inside, continuously firing at police surrounding the house. The standoff lasted for hours and ended with Sealy dead.

Thousands turned out to celebrate Ballard's life when he was buried about a week later.

Many pay respects to Cp. Stephen Ballard, who was laidBuy Photo
Many pay respects to Cp. Stephen Ballard, who was laid to rest Friday, May 5, 2017, at Grace-lawn Memorial Park in New Castle. (Photo: Saquan Stimpson/Special to The News Journal)

But Ballard's memory did not end there. Cummings works to keep him alive with charity.

"I'm feeling really good," Cummings said. "We have the second Ballard Community Fund benefit tonight. I'm feeling really energized to give back to the community in his honor."

Cummings established that fund to offer a grant each year to local not-for-profits focused on issues such as children in need, education and domestic violence.

The grant recipient this year is the Delaware chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The money will support the training of local law enforcement in addressing and aiding veterans during a crisis

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