LONG BEACH - For weeks following the Sept. 11, 2009, loss of Lisa Bonney, a planter and bench on the south side of the Bolstad beach approach turnaround served as the makeshift memorial site for her friends, family and neighbors to honor her with photos, cards and flowers.
Shortly after her passing, a prominent wooden cross was erected in the nearby grasses, which also became a common spot to place a flower or hang a memento.
For anyone who hadn't had the chance to know Bonney, it was evident from the overflowing bouquets, notes and potted flowers that she would be missed evermore.
So when passersby noticed that the planter bench had been cleared and the cross was removed, some community members became concerned as to what happened to the memorial. Did it blow away? Was it vandalized? Where did it go?
Long Beach Mayor Bob Andrew was able to clear up any speculation and said that the city and the Bonney family agreed to leave the memorial in place temporarily as part of the healing process, and remove the cross and other items at the first of the year.
Since the removal, the city has offered to attach a plaque to the planter bench that would memorialize Bonney.
"The city and council agreed that the city crew would develop the plaque and mount it to the planter as soon as the family decided on the wording and verbiage they wanted on it," Andrew explained. "The goal is to help the family, and we try to be sensitive to the situation."
On an even more positive note, Bonney's brother, Scott Klingler, and former classmate Kendall Biggs are in the midst of planning a walk/run to raise awareness about domestic violence and benefit Crisis Support Network, a Pacific County agency that provides assistance to victims of domestic violence.
"Lisa ran the beach, it was her serenity and her physical fitness - she loved the boardwalk," remembers Klingler, who feels the event will keep the spirit of his sister alive through support and enlightenment.
"It's not another memorial for my sister - she will live on through me and our family," he explains. "This is to build a foundation for those who need it. Our vision is to increase in numbers and combat domestic violence. It's going to be a fun event that brings to light a negative situation - to help the next Lisa."
Klingler agrees, "Domestic violence, I'm sorry, it's not going to go away."
"But it can be reduced," Biggs points out.
They began planning the event in November and say the walk/run will be modeled after the Beach to Chowder Run. Several community members have jumped on board to help with planning, and a Seattle public relations firm has offered their assistance as well.
The run/walk is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 14 in Long Beach. More details on the event will be posted on Facebook and in the Chinook Observer when more information becomes available.