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