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Walk at St. Lawrence Central School to remember Dana family


BRASHER FALLS - A walk scheduled for June 15 at St. Lawrence Central Elementary School will honor the memory of a family killed in a 2012 accident and raise money for a scholarship.

The 2013 Dana Memorial Walk will be an opportunity to remember Janet P. Dana, her daughter-in-law Laurie A. Dana, and her granddaughters Lauryn E. and Caitlyn O. Dana, who were killed in a July accident near Antwerp.

Laurie Dana, 42, was a special education/speech teacher at St. Lawrence Central Elementary School. Caitlyn, 14, was to enter the ninth grade, and Lauryn, 11, was a rising sixth grader. Janet Dana, 69, was a former teacher at Brushton-Moira Central School. Also killed was Caitlyn’s friend, Shannon Planty, 14, a student in the Brushton-Moira Central School District.

The walk will begin at 9 a.m. at the elementary school. It’s expected to last an hour or two.

“We’re just there to come together as a school and a community to remember Laurie, Caitlyn, Lauryn, Shannon and Janet. We’ll make money for the scholarship (SLC Dana Scholarship Fund) also,” according to Karen Siskavich, chairperson of the organizing committee.

The walk will be held on the school grounds, leaving from a memorial that Laurie’s husband created in front of the school.

“Hopefully faculty and friends will lead the walk and others can follow. We want to go around the bus garage, high school, memorial trail and back to the school. It’s just walking around the school grounds. This year we decided as a committee that it’s going to be very simple. We didn’t want to put too much into this year because it is the first year,” according to Ms. Siskavich, who worked with Laurie at the school.

It’s just a day for people to come together and remember them and make money for the scholarship,” she said.

She said she had been approached last winter by William Scharf, a teacher and coach in the district, about setting up some type of walk for the scholarship.

“He approached me to kind of be in charge of the Dana Walk because I was a very close friend and colleague of Laurie. She and I were both speech pathologists at the school,” she said.

Donations for the SLC Dana Scholarship Fund will be accepted at the walk.

“We’ll have a donation bucket-type thing at the table, along with some order forms for T-shirts. We had a T-shirt fundraiser already for people to wear their T-shirts the day of the walk. We’re going to have more forms there that day for those who haven’t had a chance to order and would like to order one. They pay that day,” Ms. Siskavich said.

The shirts, which can also be ordered by emailing, are $10 for youth and $15 for adult.

Money raised will go toward the scholarship that was established in memory of the family.

“We’re just raising money to keep funds there, so every year they have enough,” Ms. Siskavich said. “I’m sure a lot of people will congregate around the memorial. It’s not meant to be a cryfest. It’s a get-together to remember them.”

Other fundraisers have previously been held to raise money for the scholarship, she said. Among them, she said, are $1 donations made by the staff on Fridays to support various funds. In May and June all the money donated by the staff went to the scholarship fund.

Coming up, Ms. Siskavich said, librarian Becky Dullea is having a book sale for the staff during the last three days of school. Individuals are donating books to that cause and all the money raised will go toward the scholarship.

“We’re trying to do little things and help out any way we can because we won’t ever forget them,” she said.

Other events will also be taking place that day on the school campus.

The school will be hosting the Dodge Test Drive team from Blevins Motors, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For every person who test drives a Dodge car or truck, Dodge will donate $20 to the SLC Athletic Fund.

The school grounds will also serve as a Civil War camp with reenactors who were in the movie Gettysburg. Visitors are invited to come walk through living history and experience the sights and sounds of the Civil War from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“The walk just coincides on the same day as the Dodge test drive sponsored by Blevins and also the Civil War reenactment by the playground,” Ms. Siskavich said.

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