Changed Lives

There are life changing events and there are LIFE CHANGING events.

Our community has been given an opportunity to remember a life changing event. A time when words were not adequate, hugs were not enough, silence spoke loudly, and we changed.

Each of us changed in some way because of her, and now we are given an opportunity to allow our change to be a change for others – in perpetuity.

The goal is an endowed scholarship which will allow the scholarship in Tara Ploeger’s memory to continue on and on – in perpetuity. My memories of Tara and that day will never leave me. The lessons I learned from her mom, Vicki, have caused me to respond to people differently. For many of us, that day lives in perpetuity.

Currently, there is a matching donation opportunity for the Tara Ploeger Memorial Scholarship, which is annually awarded to Sabetha High School students. Kent and Donna Saylor have graciously offered to match dollar-for-dollar any amount given to this scholarship fund to insure Tara’s memory is always honored in this manner.

The SHS Class of 2000 is holding a 5K walk/run on June 10 to encourage generous donations for the endowment. Amounts totaling up to $10,000 donated now and up until the 5K event will be matched. To register for the event go to If any business or individual is interested in helping sponsor the event, they are encouraged to contact Rachelle Wertenberger at 785-285-8562.

On the USD 113 Foundation website, it reads, “Tara Ploeger was a vivacious teenager who loved her family, school and community. She served young and old in her jobs as a daycare worker, volunteering at the elementary school, and in working at Country Mart and the Sabetha Hospital. After High School, she planned to major in Elementary Education. Although her time was cut short, her friends and family are thankful for the 18 years they had with her.”

In addition to thanking Kent and Donna, I want to thank the Ploeger family. They are allowing our community to come together again, to remember that painful time, a beautiful young life and are allowing us to give back so her memory can last in perpetuity.

Tara’s sister, Heidi, wrote a blog at the 11-year anniversary of losing her sister. In it, she bares her soul and tells of her “second life,” of grief, tears and pain.

Then she shares her daughter’s heart decision — a life changing decision she made for perpetuity.

Leslie Scoby9 Posts

Leslie Scoby is the Vice President of the Greater Sabetha Community Foundation Executive Board.


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