Nine years ago Linda Lipka’s daughter was killed in an auto accident on I-70 near Columbia. The following day she received six college scholarship offers. Linda and her husband turned that tragic irony to good advantage by establishing a scholarship fund to worthy Ferguson youth in their daughter’s name. Four years ago a good friend’s twenty-year-old son was shot in Saint Louis. The McGartland family also set up a scholarship found. The twin funds often raise money together.
One fundraiser is The Taste of Ferguson, (www.TheTasteinFerguson.com), where over a thousand people sample food from area restaurants and caterers to raise money for the Robbie McGartland and Samantha Lipka Memorial Scholarship Fund. “We started doing this before August 2014, but it is more important than ever now. It shows Ferguson at its best.”
Linda’s family has lived in Ferguson since the 1940’s. In April 2016 she was elected to the City Council. “I am not a council member. I am an advocate for the people who has a title.”
“Never underestimate the power of a smile. When my daughter died 2000 people showed up at her funeral. One girl I didn’t know came up and told me that Samantha was always nice to her, always had a smile for her, when no one else did. A single smile can save the world.”
How will we live tomorrow?
“What I’ve been learning is that the lessons of the past have to be respected to give hope to our future. Take what we learn, acknowledge the anger, leave it behind. Keep what each of us has to contribute to the solution.”
What a timely post!
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