HILLSBORO, Ore. Hundreds gathered Saturday to remember two Forest Grove girls who were hit and killed while playing in a pile of leaves last Sunday.

Parents and their children held hands as they walked into the Sonrise church on Northeast Campus Way in Hillsboro for the 10 a.m. celebration of life for 6-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckerdt and her 11-year-old stepsister Abigail Robinson.

The girls family released a statement Saturday thanking the community for the outpouring of support during the unthinkable tragedy they have been enduring.

The communal spirit that we feel right now is helping us in so many ways. Whether it be neighbors, friends, a business or an individual this community has held us with loving arms. We are so very grateful. We hope and pray that this spirit grows so that it can heal others as Abigail and Anna would have wanted.

So many efforts have occurred in the past few days to honor our daughters and help us recover from this tragedy. Words cannot describe how loved we feel right now. We feel embraced in the arms of all those who s prayers, gifts and efforts have been offered. God is reaching down and caring for us in these difficult days. Churches, contractors, coffee shops, gyms, schools groups, restaurants and others have done so much to help. We do want to ask that any effort to help be done through trusted organizations. No one should be harmed in an effort to memorialize our girls. Both Columbia Community Bank and US Bank have funds set up to deliver assistance and support a memorial for Abigail and Anna.

Today is a day for celebration. Abigail and Anna were spirited and joyful girls. We never want to loose that from our lives. Today we honor them with our own bright and hopeful expression of love for each other.

The girls had been playing in leaves along a roadway near their home in the 1700 block of Main Street when they were struck around 8:30 p.m.

Background: Stepsisters die after hit by vehicle in Forest Grove

Two teens were arrested Tuesday evening in connection with the deaths of two young Forest Grove stepsisters.

Court documents revealed the drive knew she hit someone and her passenger took the SUV she was driving to a car wash to get rid of evidence.

On Thursday, Abigail Robinson's mother, Tersia Theel, expressed disgust that the driver did not come forward after learning she had struck children.

For the past week, the tight-knit Forest Grove community has been rallying around the family, raising money and lending support as they face the tragedy.

More: Forest Grove rallies around dead girls' families

An account was set up to help cover funeral expenses. Donations can be made to the Dieter-Robinson fund at any Columbia Community Bank or through the Sonrise Church.

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