Walk to honor woman’s memory, raise awareness of domestic violence issues

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During a March vigil at Hugh B. Bain Middle School’s track, Lauren Ise was remembered as having a heart “bigger than the sun.”

On July 20, members of the community will again gather at the school’s track for “A Walk in Memory of Lauren Ise,” with a dual focus on honoring the late Cranstonian’s memory and raising awareness of domestic violence.

“Hopefully, it turns out to be great,” said Marisa LeClair, who is organizing the walk. “Hopefully, we can make it an annual thing. Her life will live on through us.”

Ise, 29, was killed in March at her Edgewood apartment, and an estranged boyfriend has been charged with her murder.

LeClair, who attended the March vigil, knew Ise for 12 years. The two worked at the same convenience store at the intersection of Pontiac Avenue and Laurens Street – LeClair at the Citgo station, and Ise at the Dunkin’ Donuts location within the store – and became close.

“She was a really good friend,” LeClair said.

To honor Ise’s memory, LeClair said she created the “Lauren’s Legacy” page on Facebook. The page is “just something for people to be able to communicate through,” she said, and a place to share pictures and memories of Ise.

LeClair wanted to do more, however, and soon the idea for the walk emerged.

“I had decided to do something in honor of her, so me and a couple of my friends got together and we discussed having a walk,” LeClair said. “[Ise] went to Bain … Her teachers still remember her, so I figured it would be good to have it there. It’s just familiar for her old friends, to keep it close.”

The walk will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 20. Registration costs $20 – with only cash payment accepted – and children age 12 and under can participate at no cost. The registration fee includes a T-shirt.

Representatives of Sojourner House, the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence will be in attendance, and activities for children – including face painting, bubbles and water balloons – will be available to allow accompanying adults to speak with one another and with the local resources.

Bumper stickers and bracelets bearing the slogans “Lauren’s Legacy” and “Break the Silence” will also be available to support the event’s focus on awareness.

“Our main focus is to celebrate [Ise’s] life and to raise awareness of domestic violence,” LeClair said. “It will help raise awareness for the cause and reach out to other people who might be in the same kind of situation … Hopefully, their outcome will be better than what happened to her.”

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Night of Dreams Foundation, which was Ise’s favorite charity. The rest of the proceeds will benefit families affected by domestic violence through the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The walk will additionally feature refreshments and musical entertainment from a DJ. LeClair said Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Frito-Lay and Dunkin’ Donuts have donated food and beverages for the event.

For more information, follow the “Lauren’s Legacy” page on Facebook.

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