Emotional night at ‘Remembering Her’ event in Marystown
Cortney Lake and Ryanna Grywacheski remembered
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.”
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.