KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been five years since a hate crime outside Village Shalom took the life of Terri LaManno.
Her surviving spouse, Jim, has been determined to make something good come out of the senseless tragedy.
Terri LaManno was an occupational therapist at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, working with infants and preschoolers to develop skills they would need in life.
Her legacy continues to help visually impaired children, as two families received scholarships Monday in Terri LaManno’s name.
The scholarships will pay for therapy so that 5-year-old Carley Zagalik and 4-year-old Emerson Horner can learn to read braille and not fall through the cracks because their parents can’t afford training that’s not covered by insurance.
Jim LaManno said he hopes the scholarship fund he established for his wife will regenerate and continue for generations to come.
“The good coming out of this is the most important thing to me,” Jim LaManno said. “Without what I do, life might be pretty lonely. I feel like, someone is looking down and saying, ‘Hey, you’re doing the right thing.'”
Neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller shot and killed LaManno outside the Jewish retirement community in 2014. The FBI says Miller was motivated by anti-semitism. He has been sentenced to death.
A sensory garden on the children’s center campus is named for Terri LaManno. A walkway enables the visually impaired to distinguish between different types of surfaces they may encounter while living independently.
CCVI serves more than 300 children a year. The organization says donations make up about half of its budget. Without the generosity of people like LaManno, the center would have to turn away kids in need.