by Krissy Norrman
Lauren graduated from Wayland High School this year and was planning to attend Elon University in North Carolina this fall. Lauren was allegedly murdered by her longtime boyfriend over the 4th of July holiday, instantly ruining the lives of two families and devastating an entire community.
Lauren's parents are both educators. Her father was a principal and her mother is a kindergarten teacher. Both of them are trying to find a greater good out of Lauren's death. Through their grief, Lauren's family has started a Memorial Fund in her name. The Fund's Mission is: To promote dynamic educational programs, particularly those in the areas of the development of healthy teen relationships, the arts, and community service.
Lauren's parents' thoughts are focused on how each of us can work together to change our communities so that tragedies like this don't happen in the future... "that the environment my children go to school in will be a safer, less violent and more accepting one." This fund will support educational opportunities through the schools in our community to try to teach children early about healthy teen relationships, signs of troubled behavior, and self esteem.
Lauren was a gifted musician, both a singer and French horn player, so the fund will also support others in their pursuit of the arts. Lauren was very considerate of others and consistently gave of her time and resources to help those less fortunate. She went to help victims of Katrina on three separate occasions. The fund will also support those who wish to follow Lauren's footsteps in supporting others inside and outside of our community.
The Yankee Board agreed to let Leon and Angela Zachary, longtime friends of Lauren and her family, host a Yankee sanctioned tournament on October 30th, 2011 in her name. There will be a 10 team Women's C+ and a 10 team RCO B- tournament. The Yankee community has really come together to make this tournament as profitable as possible as it is for a meaningful cause. Lincoln Sudbury has offered their gym and Judy Katalina is donating prizes. Several referees have also volunteered to donate their time, the Wayland girls’ volleyball team will be donating time as line judges, and they will also be selling refreshments (lunch and snacks, Gatorade and water). All proceeds will go directly to support the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund.