On July 16, 2015, eight-year-old Ella Armstrong passed away due to an undetected heart condition. Ella was the daughter of Bearden Nutrition owners, Jason and Leslie Armstrong. She was jogging during her martial arts class, taught by her father Jason, when she suddenly collapsed and went to be with the Lord. To honor his daughter in an upcoming tournament, the Armstrongs had a logo designed to be worn in Ella’s memory. The result was a pink elephant logo, designed using Ella’s initials, E and A.
The origin of the elephant has special significance. Two weeks before Ella entered heaven, the Armstrong family went on vacation in Blue Ridge, GA. Throughout their stay, many visits were made to Mercier Orchards, a favorite breakfast spot and general store. Ella was drawn to these little glass animals, which she collected throughout the vacation. Every time the Armstrongs stopped at Mercier’s, Ella would pick out a new animal. Out of her collection, there was one that Ella cherished most—a pink elephant. At the end of the trip, Ella lost her prized elephant and was very upset about it. For days, the family looked for it, but had no luck. At the end of the week, the Armstrong family returned home to MS. A few days later, Ella would leave this world. On the morning of Ella’s funeral, the elephant appeared again. Leslie, Ella’s mother, found the little glass figurine lodged under the back seat of the family Suburban. Both sadness and solace were felt in the discovery of her favorite possession. Rather than hold on to the elephant, the family decided to bury it with Ella.
Today, the pink elephant is much more than just a logo. It’s a reminder of Ella Armstrong, a beautiful, kind-hearted, loving little girl, who left us too soon. The Armstrongs moved to Knoxville, TN in August of 2019, to start a new chapter of life. There is always a hole left by the loss of their little girl, but the elephant symbol serves as a constant reminder and honors the memory of Ella Armstrong.