It has now been almost five years that we lost Lara. Our lives have changed in very big ways, and as we move forward without our incredibly special girl, we have not forgotten how you supported us during our worst time and how you continue that support today, almost five years later. Your kindness was so welcomed when we needed it the most. The flowers, gifts, prayers and your presence all made such a difference in our lives. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the compassion we felt during our time of sorrow, that which continues today.
As we have moved through each hour, day, month and year, the outpouring of support by you has inspired us and others to honor Lara in many ways:
· We formed a non-profit charity: LiveLikeLara Foundation (www.livelikelara.org) which is dedicated to making our society better for all. From Lara’s law scholarship, the Innocence Project, Big Brothers/Big Sisters to food banks and homeless shelters, this Foundation has been able to support numerous causes that were near and dear to Lara’s heart;
· The endowed Lara D. Gass Law Scholarship for a 3rd year law student at Washington and Lee Law School has awarded a scholarship (of at least $5,000.00) for the last four years to a very deserving law student;
· The W&L Law School has renamed the annual Law Review Symposium to be the Lara D, Gass Law Review Symposium;
· The “Women in Law” panel that Lara worked so hard to create has been named the Lara D. Gass Women in Law Symposium; and
· By proposing legislation, we are starting to raise awareness for vehicle and highway safety. Even though no laws have been passed yet, more people are aware of checking for recalls before purchasing a vehicle and are holding automotive dealerships accountable for selling safe cars.
Being able to LiveLikeLara has helped us to change our focus from one of total grief to one of making each day count. We will forever miss our Lara, but we now manage our grief by working to make our society a little better one day at a time.
Thank you doesn’t seem like enough to say, but know that we do truly appreciate and will always remember all that you did for us almost five years ago and the love and support that we continue to feel today.
Jay, Gerri, Chris, Kim, Emily, Jason Gass, Chris Wagner