Emo­tional night at ‘Re­mem­ber­ing Her’ event in Marys­town

Cort­ney Lake and Ryanna Grywach­eski re­mem­bered

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY COLIN FAR­RELL

The room was thick with emo­tion as Lisa Lake, the mother of Cort­ney Lake, spoke at the “Re­mem­ber­ing Her” event in Marys­town on Fri­day, Dec. 1, at the Marys­town Ho­tel and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

Her daugh­ter has been miss­ing since June 7 and po­lice have de­ter­mined her dis­ap­pear­ance to be a homi­cide. Search ef­forts for the 24-year-old mother are still on­go­ing, the lat­est in­volv­ing po­lice, ground search teams and drone tech­nol­ogy near Belle­vue ear­lier that day.

At the Fri­day night ser­vice, Lisa share many fond mem­o­ries of her daugh­ter, and sto­ries from her child­hood and teenage years.

Fol­low­ing the event, Lisa told the South­ern Gazette that be­ing able to share those mem­o­ries with friends and fam­ily was a way of heal­ing.

“It brings it back to home,” she said. “We’re home now, when we can come here and sit down with our next-door neigh­bours and we can laugh with (them),” she said.

Lisa lives in Mount Pearl but Marys­town is her home­town.

She said the sup­port the fam­ily re­ceived from those who at­tended the Re­mem­ber­ing Her event is un­be­liev­able.

“It’s re­ally heart­warm­ing,” she said. “It was way past my ex­pec­ta­tions – it was un­be­liev­able, I can’t tell you any words to de­scribe it, and the sup­port from my home­town community, it touches the heart.”

Dur­ing the event or­ga­niz­ers also re­mem­bered Ryanna Grywach­eski, a Regina woman who lost her life in Septem­ber in a mur­der/sui­cide in Marys­town.

Linda Ross, pres­i­dent/CEO of the Pro­vin­cial Ad­vi­sory Council on the Sta­tus of Women, read a state­ment from Grywach­eski’s fam­ily be­fore ad­dress­ing the crowd on be­half of the council.

Ryanna, who would have cel­e­brated her 19th birth­day last month, was born on Nov. 17, 1998, “with chubby lit­tle cheeks, dark hair and pierc­ing blue eyes. She was so beau­ti­ful and full of life,” read the state­ment.

Grow­ing up she spent much of her time with her cousins, who were the same age as her.

Grywach­eski grew up in Regina, but also spent time on her fam­ily’s farm, “climb­ing trees, help­ing in the gar­den and ex­plor­ing the world around her.”

She was de­scribed as a pas­sion­ate per­son, and a gifted and tal­ented artist who loved work­ing with her hands.

“She gave her friends Henna tat­toos, drew beau­ti­ful pictures, made amaz­ing metal art and as­pired to be­come a wielder or carpenter just so she could con­tinue to work with her hands.”

In the state­ment the fam­ily said Ryanna wanted to find her own path in life. That jour­ney led her to Marys­town, where she lived with her boyfriend, Jeff Kil­foy, in a base­ment apart­ment just off Route 210 near Moor­ing Cove.

“Al­though she wasn’t there for long,” said Ross, re­lay­ing the words of the fam­ily. “I can guar­an­tee that she made a last­ing im­pres­sion of sin­cere kind­ness to any­one she met.

“Ryanna had a heart of gold. We are still in shock and dis­be­lieve that this could hap­pen. We will never un­der­stand why she was taken but we, her fam­ily and friends, will never for­get her and will al­ways cher­ish the mem­o­ries and time we did have.”

The event was or­ga­nized by the Grace Sparkes House in Marys­town. Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lisa Slaney said that there was a lot of sup­port for the event.

“(We are) very pleased with the amount of par­tic­i­pa­tion that we had from the community tonight,” she told the South­ern Gazette fol­low­ing the event.

“The num­bers that came were more than what we an­tic­i­pated, but we’re very grate­ful that the community came out to rally around the fam­i­lies and show their sup­port to them.”

PHO­TOS BY COLIN FAR­RELL/ THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

Lisa Lake, the mother of Cort­ney Lake, was one of the guest speakers at the “Re­mem­ber­ing Her” event in Marys­town.

Glenda Power, Cort­ney’s aunt, thanked the many peo­ple who have joined the fam­ily in their search ef­forts. She also called for more to be done to pre­vent vi­o­lence against women.

Cort­ney’s brother, Colin Lake, lit a can­dle in mem­ory of his sis­ter. He was joined by his girl­friend, Shacara Le­grow.

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