Family to honour teen killed in school stabbing with well in Ethiopia
Published Monday, March 20, 2017 7:12PM PDT
The family of an Abbotsford teen who was fatally stabbed in November plans to honour her memory with a project benefiting a cause close to her heart.
For 13-year-old Letisha Reimer, the Run for Water event was important. The annual event, which takes place in Abbotsford and Calgary, raises money to bring clean water to communities in need.
Letisha participated in the event every year since she was about nine years old.
"She had a heart for others," her father Uli Reimer said.
But Letisha died in November, fatally wounded in a random stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School. A second Grade 9 student was injured in the attack, and a 21-year-old man who didn't know either girl has been charged.
Letisha's family was left with only memories of the girl who they said was energetic and loved life.
"She had that spark… Sometimes there's some dull moments and it's like you're waiting for her to come in and just cheer everybody up," Uli said.
Knowing that helping others mattered so much to Letisha, family and friends decided to create a team for the Run for Water in her memory.
"I guess you could say we're honouring her by not quitting on what she believed in," her father said.
Initially they'd planned on a small team, but the ideal snowballed to 160 runners raising money to build a well in Letisha's name.
"We have an amazing community that supports us," Uli said.
The money raised for "Letisha's well" will bring clean water to a community in Ethiopia where women and girls are often tasked with walking as much as 10 kilometres each way to get water. The executive director of Run for Water says the water, which is brought home in 40- to 50-pound containers, is often contaminated. The money raised will also build a small school, Peg Peters said.
"This will be a game changer for these entire communities," he told CTV News on Monday.
And because of one donor, the Reimer family will be able to travel to the village and see first-hand how their daughter's memory is changing lives.
"Obviously that's going to be very emotional, but I think it's going to be amazing," Uli said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Michele Brunoro