Trib­ute to mark first an­niver­sary of woman’s death in Ve­gas killings

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - SAMMY HUDES [email protected]­ twit­­myHudes

It was nearly a year ago that Tara Smith Roe was one of 58 peo­ple killed in a mass shoot­ing at a Las Ve­gas coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val.

On Oct. 13, one year since her cel­e­bra­tion of life, friends and fam­ily will gather again to pay trib­ute to the Oko­toks ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tant and mother of two who “al­ways wanted to help peo­ple.”

“We just want to re­mem­ber how great she was,” said Saman­tha Lee, who knew Smith Roe since child­hood.

The event in her hon­our will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Palace The­atre, fea­tur­ing a rock show by stu­dents from School of Rock Cal­gary who have learned some of Smith Roe’s favourite songs.

It’ll also raise funds for the fam­ily of one of her for­mer stu­dents, Jaxen, who like his brother, Ryker, has spe­cial needs. Lee said Smith Roe worked closely with autis­tic chil­dren and al­ways spoke about want­ing to help Jaxen’s fam­ily, but never had the op­por­tu­nity.

“We’re just go­ing to try to do that for her,” she said. “She loved her stu­dents so much, and be­ing able to achieve this goal for her with help­ing this fam­ily means a lot.”

Smith Roe, who would have turned 35 on Sept. 1, is sur­vived by her hus­band, Zach, and chil­dren, Louis, 8, and Len­non, 5.

Lee said she was the life of any party and hoped the up­com­ing show would re­flect that.

“Mu­sic was al­ways a big part (of her life),” Lee said. “She loved to dance, she was al­ways the one danc­ing at wed­dings.

“We just thought this would be the per­fect idea where each song in the set list was cho­sen for a spe­cific fam­ily mem­ber or friend or mem­ory.”

Lee said they’re hop­ing to sell at least 300 tick­ets for the event.

Roe was among 58 peo­ple killed when a gun­man perched in the nearby Man­dalay Bay Re­sort opened fire on the 22,000 at­ten­dees of the Route 91 Har­vest Mu­sic Fes­ti­val on Oct. 1, 2017.

She was one of four Cana­di­ans killed in the shoot­ing, the dead­li­est in re­cent U.S. his­tory.

Lee said the up­com­ing an­niver­sary has been dif­fi­cult to cope with.

“Ev­ery­body is start­ing to re­ally dread it,” she said. “It’s very clear hav­ing her around this time last year. Ev­ery­one’s just not look­ing for­ward to it. It was a re­ally rough day for ev­ery­one.”

She said friends and fam­ily have been try­ing to do daily ran­dom acts of kind­ness as a trib­ute to Smith Roe, who would en­cour­age those around her to “show your love ev­ery day.”

“We want to keep show­ing ev­ery­one how amaz­ing she was and how much she al­ways wanted to help peo­ple,” Lee said.

Tara Smith Roe was one of 58 vic­tims of last year’s deadly mass shoot­ing in Las Ve­gas. Friends and fam­ily plan to hon­our her mem­ory with a rock show.

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