Las Lomas High students face anniversary of tragedy with grace

Last year, students at Las  Lomas High lost two great friends, Matt Miller and Gavin Powell, who died Feb. 19 while attempting to raft Walnut Creek’s urban waterways. I covered the accident and the community’s mourning for Walnut Creek Patch. It was a difficult story to cover. Matt and Gavin were two amazing young men, smart, athletic, talented and leading lives of integrity. Their deaths hurt so many people around town.

Still, their fellow classmates handled the tragedy with such grace, organizing a candlelight vigil and participating in the two memorial services for each of the boys. Now, these young people are gathering money to build an outdoor education memorial outside the Las Lomas library. The design of the memorial will incorporate Gavin’s surfboard and a geometry project by Matt Miller.

Over the past few months, students have raised $1300 by working with Girl Scout Troop 30848 to sell roses and singing grams. On Thursday, a rally took place at the school, where students were invited to paint rocks to be placed in the Matt and Gavin Memorial Garden.

On Friday, Feb. 24, the senior class, with whom Matt and Gavin would have graduated this spring, will host a funk dance fundraiser. The party is scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. in the small gym.There will be food, a silent auction and a tile fundraiser in which people can paint a tile.
If you have something you’d like to donate for the silent auction, please email the senior officers at Donations may be made out to Las Lomas High School with “Outdoor Classroom Memorial” written in the memo line, and sent to Las Lomas High, 1460 S. Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596.

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