Community Gathers to Remember Victims of Crime at the Holly Quick Memorial
On Thursday night, family and friends gathered in the Holly Quick Memorial at the Sparks Marina to remember their loved ones lost to violent crimes.
On Thursday night, family and friends gathered at the Sparks Marina to remember their loved ones lost to violent crimes.
The ceremony took place at the Holly Quick Memorial Garden. There was an open mic for people wishing to talk about their family or anybody they knew.
"Everyday I wake up and I see my son's beautiful face," said Sherri Potts, the mother of Sonny Wayne Lewis. He was killed on January 27, 2013 at a Walmart in Reno.
The relatives of victims tearfully told stories about their loved ones lost to domestic violence, murder, and shootings.
"He was just having fun a bonfire and he got shot. I'm so broken, we're lost without him," said Elena Torres, the mother of Gerardo Reyes. He died in a shooting in December 2015.
It's been nine months since Torres lost her 16 year-old son.
"I miss my son Gerardo Reyes. I miss him with all my heart and I need him back," said Torres.
To keep his memory alive, his name has been added to the wall of remembrance at the Holly Quick Memorial. Knowing that there's other families out there going through the same pain, Torres says she feels comfort.
"They're feeling what I'm feeling right now. It gives us a boost of confidence that they've made it through so many years and we've only started," said Torres.
Patricia Quick understands. Her daughter is Holly Quick, the woman named on the memorial.
"It brings everybody together. It gives victims a place to go find peace, some solitude, to try to connect with nature, and it's quiet so there's a little less noise going on in your head," said Quick.
She lost Holly more than 10 years ago to a murder, but the symbolism of the garden is what keeps her going everyday.
"A butterfly goes into it's cocoon, which is very dark and then it comes out and it's beautiful and it flies and I think that's a little bit like what we go through," said Quick. "You can't just stay in that dark place. You have to come out."
With a crowd full of support, even law enforcement came out to let the families know they're still fighting for their loved ones.
Chris Hicks, the Washoe County District Attorney said, "We're not going to let this fall through the cracks. We're going to do everything we can within the law to make sure that defendants are held accountable and justice is given to the victims."
That's the hope for every victim's family and friends.
"Please give us justice for not only my son, but for everyone here," said Potts.
The Holly Quick Memorial was created in 2009, by groups in the community including the Sparks Police Department, the Crisis Call Center and the City of Sparks. The victim Holly Quick was murdered in Sparks more than 10 years ago. The garden is shaped in her favorite animal, a butterfly. There's also a wall for surviving family and friends to add their loved ones to.
We're told resources like counseling have been vital in their healing process and advocates want victims and their families to know they're not alone.
"Making sure that we work together so everyone in our community is safe and the perpetrators are brought to justice. And the family has time to heal. That's the whole point of the Holly Quick memorial, is healing," said Amanda Cuevas, an advocate for Safe Embrace. "Having a place of solitude, having a place where you can just go sit and look at the marina, and feel calmness, is really important. That self care minute, that breath."
The whole community is welcome to visit the garden when the Sparks Marina is open.