Tragic death leads to good works; Kristina KARES announces fundraiser, blood drive
REGION — A Pennsylvania State Police investigation determined that on August 20, 2012, Kristina Adams, 29, was shot and killed by Rodney Ezrapour, 56, who also shot 37-year-old Tobias Johannes, and then turned the gun on himself. The incident occurred on Cemetery Road in Damascus Township, PA.
Kristina’s mother, Cindy Adams, and a group of Kristina’s friends have decided to keep her memory alive in a positive way. In an interview, Cindy said, “Her friends and I have decided the best way to keep her memory positive and going ahead was to start a non-profit in her name, and to support the causes that she would have wanted to support.”
One of the events announced to honor Kristina’s memory is a blood drive that will be held at the Delaware Youth Center in Callicoon, NY on March 29, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. People who would like to donate should pre-register, if possible, by going to www.redcrossblood.org or calling 800/RED CROSS, or emailing Cindy at email@example.com.
The other upcoming fundraiser will be a buffet dinner at the Clubhouse Restaurant at the Villa Roma on April 13. The event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. and live music will be presented. There will also be a silent art auction, and the cost will be $35 per person. Cindy said any profits from the event would go to the Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County and the Wayne Pike Adult Literacy Program. Cindy said that books and reading were very important to Kristina, and when she was in college she would read with children after classes.
The events are being held through the newly-formed nonprofit organization Kristina’s Assistance Relief Effort Services, or Kristina KARES. The board formally formed about two weeks ago, and includes, “an art therapist, a guidance counselor, a nurse, an accounting person and a sheriff’s department detective.” The board plans to have two major fundraiser events per year. Anyone wishing to contribute can send a donation to: Kristina Kares c/o Cindy Adams, P.O. Box 161, Callicoon NY 12723; write April 2013 on the memo line.
Shortly after graduation from Honesdale High School, Kristina developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which, in her case, resulted in paralysis from the neck down; she could not swallow, she was placed on a respirator and the illness nearly killed her. But she recovered and went on to attend Marywood University in Scranton, PA on a full academic scholarship. Marywood is planting a tree in her name in April.
As a response to a college assignment, Kristina once wrote a paper entitled “What would you do if you had only 37 days to live?” She wrote, “I would rise before the sun and watch it emerge over fields. I would sleep late and make chocolate chip pancakes. I would eat lunch at the counter. I would have dessert before dinner. I would play racquetball and go kayaking. I would meet a real cowboy. I would take hundreds of photographs. I would be happy, because where there is happiness there is meaning and where there is meaning there is happiness.”
Because of her close brush with death earlier in her life, she had picked a number of quotes that might be used at her funeral. One of them, from Eleanor Roosevelt, said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself ‘I have lived through this horror, I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”