Family says Terri LaManno’s spirit will live on through scholarships

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The family of one of the victims in the Jewish centers shootings Wednesday presented scholarships to two children with special needs.

Terri LaManno, 43, was gunned down outside Village Shalom, a retirement complex, where she was visiting her mother.

Terri LaManno, 43, was gunned down outside Village Shalom, a retirement complex, where she was visiting her mother.

Terri LaManno worked for eight years as an occupational therapist at the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired.

A reputed white supremacist is on trial for shooting and killing LaManno outside of Village Shalom in April of last year. LaManno's family is determined to carry on her spirit of giving to others by establishing a scholarship to cover the costs of the therapy she used to provide young children.

On Wednesday, the LaManno family awarded two scholarships, worth $4,500 each, to pay for occupational therapy for two visually impaired kids for the next year.

One of the recipients, 5-year-old Layna Talbott, actually received therapy from Terri LaManno as an infant.

"I believe that giving is part of the human experience," said William LaManno, Terri's husband. "If you have extra you should do things for others. You can have a lot of things, but it makes you feel good when you can help, when you can help others. That's just the way that I feel."

Occupational therapy at the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired costs $183 an hour. All of the kids receive financial assistance to cover the costs of this specialized education.

"It's really hard when you think about it," said Katherine Talbott, mother of one of the scholarship recipients. "But you know you always have to think about the positives and what Terri would want and I think she would be really, truly happy and have a great smile on her face thinking about all the great work her family is doing now."

Parents of the children receiving scholarships have mixed emotions. They are obviously grateful for the help but also sad that such a caring person is no longer part of our community.