Welcome

Candlelight Vigil

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Everyone's invited to the candlelight vigil on the day that reminds us we've spent a year without the smile of our friend Brandy. It's a time to support each other, and we're welcoming those who are interested to prepare something to say about Brandy. How you met her, your favorite memory, anything. We're meeting at 8pm on May 17th, 2013 at Brandy's bench. To get to Brandy's bench, you go to the campus of Youngstown State University and find Kilcawley Center. Outside of Kilcawley is "the Big Rock" surrounded by four benches. Brandy's is the shiniest, new bench. We'll provide candles! See you there.

St Patty's Day Parade, Library Fund Raiser

Hi, everyone. I wanted to share a bit about the past week, and what it brought in memory of Brandy.

Sunday the tenth of March was the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boardman, OH, Brandy's hometown. Brandy's family and friends gathered together to march. It was a beautiful day.

parade

A few days after the parade was a fundraiser held at the Library.

The Teen Advisory Board here was something Brandy was a part of for several years as a teenager. The directors of this program knew Brandy well and chose to honor her by conducting a fundrasier she would love; they would duct tape her cousin to a wall with tape purchased by donors. All money would go toward a shelf dedicated to her memory. It was a great way to honor Brandy.

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Memorial Bench Dedication

Big thanks to eveyone who donated toward Brandy's bench!

A few words about Brandy

"When I met Brandy, she possessed a teenage angst the size of a football stadium. And I loved that about her. Brandy never settled for anything less than she wanted. Brandy loved deeply and entirely. She was passionate, and had the ability to express her passion through words and actions. She once wrote,

"We humans live for compassion. It is written in Darwin. In every known clinical research done, humans strive for that one hug from their mother or that one comforting word from a friend."

Brandy shared that when she was a toddler, she would get time-outs for yelling at her mother from the backseat of the car to drive faster. This may have led to her receiving a go-kart as a child. She loved going to her cousins to go four-wheeling.

"I learned that it's fun to ride in the rain," she said, "That donuts aren't good for the yard, and thorns are hard to remove. Not from my skin, but from my helmet."

Her friends remember taking adventures with her. Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Vault, like Brandy needed energy drinks. They remember lying on the pavement staring at the stars with her. Holding her hand, taking walks, going to concerts. She fell in love with music, as she was a poet as well. She proudly claimed herself an orch-dork in highschool. Brandy would play Mario Kart and DJ Hero all day if she could. Brandy was as clever as a fox, and perhaps the most witty person I've known. She said once,

"If it wasn't for having to see other people naked, I'd live in a nudest colony."

I was recently asked what Brandy does for a living. Well… Brandy is a comedian. She'll pick you up with words. She's a librarian, an encyclopedia of knowledge. Brandy is a therapist, a shoulder for all of her friends. She lived for helping others, for making other people feel comfortable, for love. Brandy is a musician. She is a spectrum of colors, a renaissance woman, if you will.
All Brandy wanted was to be herself in a world without prejudice, and I believe Brandy achieved that goal. Brandy was an inspiration to others to not fear who you are, but to embrace yourself.
And nothing of this has changed. Brandy is still all of these things. She's just counting on us to activate our memories and keep her alive. She shared 20 years with us, and now it is time to cherish those years." - Eulogy

Video by Ariel Reid, a good friend of Brandy's

Who is Brandy?

Brandy is someone who anyone could have called a best friend. This makes the sudden murder all the more shocking to her friends and family.

Brandy played the upright bass in school for eight years. She volunteered at the local library, played music in the basement with her friends, and studied hard through school. After graduating in 2010, Brandy chose to pursue an education in sociology at Youngstown State University.

"i enjoy how much im needed. how much i know that if someone needs something, ill be there for them. i enjoy helping people, the satisfaction of knowing that i made that person's day better. but but. i offer my help, i try and i get called out for being too...too...whats the word...helpful? that doesnt cover it. intimate? no; too deep. anyways. i try and help. i love giving hugs to the people who feel lonely. i like making people feel like they belong and that someone is thinking about them, when no one else seems to be. someone told me that i need to focus on myself more. i admit, im trying, as hard as it is. im letting go of other people's problems, attempting to focus on my own. it's difficult, but getting easier."

- from a blog of Brandy's. As a young teenager, Brandy had thoughts and ideas that were almost too big for her in a sense. It was really quite a humbling and unique characteristic of hers.

An excerpt from Brandy's facebook:

i'm not your average kid.
i do things differently.
i tend to over think everything when i'm alone.
i live vicariously through high expectations and respect.
no one will ever be as important as my little sister.
Stella is the only one who can put a smile on my face 100% of the time.
i waste my life at Caribou and YSU.
i'm striving for happiness.



Brandy mentions her little sister, Stephanie. Stella is Brandy's best friend's daughter. Brandy also left behind two young cousins with whom she had very close bonds; Ethan and Dylan.

And, going back, her myspace :)

1. i am extrememly insane & neurotic. this includes all forms of paranoia. i get worried easily, and if i cant get ahold of you, then ill basically freak out until i do.
2. i secretly like 90's country. this was the stuff i grew up with. one of my favorite songs EVER is chattahoochee by alan jackson.
3. im a country boy in city girl's clothes. i can build a fire, take apart (& put back together) a tractor engine, and i can pull the right weeds outta the woods to make your misquito bites stop itching.
4. i get really nervous in front of people & i always think that people are talking about me when i leave a room.
5. i have an insecurity about cutting my nails. dont as me why, i dont know why.
6. when im older, i want to go to Australia and race in The World of Outlaws.
7. one of my friend's has saved my life and doesnt know it.
8. my cousin Chris is my hero. we've know each other since birth and i love him so much.

Brandy mentions that she is insane, however this is clearly not anyone's medical opinion. Brandy's individuality lead her with little ties to what the city she lived in classified as "normal." This particular blog dates back to 2006, mind you. By the time Brandy was 18, she was already reaching out to younger people, or even older friends, who were struggling with figuring out what they wanted in life, or finding out what they needed to change to be satisfied in life.

This, among other things, made Brandy a highly valuable person. If you were planning a day to get together with Brandy, and tried to cancel because you had a bad day, for example, she would be at your house in fifteen minutes with her Wii, Mario Kart, and a good book.



A Loss of Great Magnitude

Senseless act of violence

Brandy's life was taken from her by someone she had trusted. She was lured 76 miles from home, to the woods. The details of the crime are not easy to digest, so I have decided to provide links to explain what ultimately happened.

Once the trial is over for the two accused of the heinous and brutal crime, I will be able to explain the last day Brandy spent on this earth. (Though it's important for those of us who knew Brandy to not focus on this, but to remember the way her smile brightened up the room, and the contageous nature of her laugh...)

trutv

Erie News, Article by Valerie Myers

The Advocate

The Vindicator
obituary

The Jambar
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Boardman Rotary
PA365/Andy Alm