About the Lauren Townsend Memorial Wildlife/Scholarship Fund
Lauren Townsend was a gentle spirit who wanted to be the best person she could be, not only to herself and the people she loved, but to all those she encountered as well. She was extremely bright and curious about the world around her. Through sports, she was able to use her qualities of leadership, teamwork, and discipline yet these were only a few of the attributes she possessed. Her smile was infectious and was an outward sign of a beautiful, fun-loving soul.
Lauren was a valedictorian of the class of 1999 at Columbine High School, an honor she received posthumously after her death. Lauren was one of thirteen murdered at Columbine on April 20, 1999. The Fund was established by her family to honor her love for learning and animals.
The Fund awards grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that focus on animal welfare or wildlife preservation.
To donate to the Lauren Townsend Memorial Wildlife/Scholarship Fund, click on the button below and then select the Lauren Townsend Memorial Wildlife/Scholarship Fund from the drop down menu.
Donations can also be mailed to:
Lauren Townsend Memorial Wildlife/Scholarship Fund
c/o The Denver Foundation
55 Madison Street, 8th Floor
Denver, CO 80206
Photo: Dawn Anna with Lauren Townsend, age 1.
To learn more about Lauren, scroll down to read remembrances from her family and friends.
Organizations interested in applying for funding from the Lauren Townsend Memorial Wildlife/Scholarship Fund can learn more about the grant program by clicking on the link below. The 2014 grant application deadline is May 9th.
LIFETIME Viewers Invited to Support Lauren Townsend Memorial Wildlife/Scholarship Fund
In January 2005, LIFETIME Television presented "Dawn Anna," starring Academy Award nominee Debra Winger as the heroic volleyball coach, teacher, and mother of four from Littleton, Colorado. This powerful story tells of a woman who has to come to terms with her own mortality in the face of her struggles with a near-fatal brain mass. But, just when she turns the corner and begins getting her life on track, she must deal with her child's own mortality. Please check your local listings for upcoming shows. "Dawn Anna" is also available on DVD.
LIFETIME viewers are invited to support the Lauren Townsend Memorial Wildlife/Scholarship Fund, created in 1999 by family and Friends in memory of Dawn Anna's Daughter.
Lauren's family created the following poem and letter to describe their love and care for Lauren.
Lauren Townsend On this Earth
January 17, 1981 - April 20, 1999
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
Whatever we were to each other,
That we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way
Which you always used.
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word
That it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of your mind
Because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you,
for an interval, somewhere very near,
just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be
as it was before – only better.
Infinitely happier and forever
We will all be one together with Christ.
by an unknown author
Lauren Dawn Townsend was born on January 17, 1981, two months premature, in Littleton, Colorado. After a month-long struggle to bring up her weight and her appetite, Lauren was allowed to leave the hospital for home. Her small size and frail limbs were worrisome at first, but, as she began to grow, her strength, charm, and tolerance of tough situations became evident.
One of her favorite pastimes as a toddler was to sit in front of the cupboard and pull out every piece of Tupperware. Surrounded in a sea of plastic she would watch us and smile as someone put every piece back as she planned to start it all over again. She often entertained her older siblings by free lancing songs and improvising a cute little dance. One of her greatest hits was about “Georgy Porgy” getting lost in the “Merry Woods” (that was where people went to get married). This piece was performed at age six. She loved to cuddle up with a stuffed animal or a blanket but most of all somebody she loved, as she watched one of her many favorite movies from her extended Disney collection. Among her favorites were Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King.
Lauren, age 8, with siblings Josh, Kristin, and Matt (l-r)
She loved to be dressed up by her big sister. Her interest in the latest fashions and glamorous movie stars came at a young age. Her sister, along with her friends, often put on fashion shows for her brothers, parents and neighbors. She loved to read and learn, especially when it was structured by her oldest brother, so her ease in academics was not a surprise.
Her family was very involved in all kinds of sports so it seemed natural for her to be involved herself. She faithfully attended all her siblings’ games often coming up to them afterwards and saying, “Good job! Did you win?” After watching so many games, it was only a matter of time before she started playing on her own. Since her mother and sister were already involved in volleyball she also became involved at the high school level as well as playing for a competitive club. Through volleyball she learned to be a leader, a team player, and a disciplined worker as well as knowledge and skill in the sport itself. She played for three years on the varsity team (lettering two of those) and was named co-captain of the team her senior season as well as being selected 2nd Team All-Conference.
Lauren loved all animals and nurtured that love through her work at an animal hospital/kennel. She also had many pets including two dogs, a rabbit, gerbils, hamsters, a baby chick and several fish. She hated the thought of anyone doing harm to God’s creatures and felt we should all do what we can to protect them. She even captured spiders in the house and released them alive outside!
Lauren loved traveling. In the summer of 1998 she journeyed to Puerto Rico with her brother Josh, sister Kristin, and mom to Puerto Rico where brother Matt was researching. Matt taught his siblings to scuba dive and Lauren discovered a new undersea world of animal life. Before her murder Lulu realized a lifetime dream by traveling to Europe over spring break 1999. She toured through Scotland and England for ten days with fellow students in her Advanced English class and sent back postcards filled with excited stories of her trip.
Lauren (far right) in Puerto Rico with Josh, Kristin, and Matt (l-r)
This was just one of the advanced placement classes Lauren had; she also took A.P. Biology and Calculus. Even though she was involved in extra-curricular activities and had recently received two scholarships to Colorado State University, Lauren continued to strive for a perfect grade point average. She graduated posthumously with a perfect 4.0 grade point and as a valedictorian.
Amongst all these achievements Lauren had a pure and simple soul and wanted to be the best person she could be to herself and the people she loved. Her goal each day was to make someone laugh…make that person feel better. She loved God, loved people.
We love you, too, Lulu.
Written by Lauren’s older sister and brothers….Kristin, Josh and Matt