From tragedy comes a celebration of lifeSirita Sotelo is remembered
Crowds of people came to show their love and support of Sirita and the law that was passed in her name last May, which provides better protection and accountability for children in foster care who are then placed back into the hands of their biological parents.
Lake Stevens Mayor Vern Little opened the ceremony with heartfelt remarks.
“This is a very, very special day in Lake Stevens,” Little said. “We remember all of the kids that will get to play on this playground because of Sirita’s Law.”
Dave Minch, President of the Lake Stevens Kiwanis Club handed Mayor Little a check for $2,000 and other service clubs donated their time installing the tot lot on Saturday.
Patricia Sotelo, Sirita’s biological mother, was in attendance and expressed her gratitude for all who have been involved in completing the playground and celebrating Sirita’s life.
“I really appreciate what each of you has done to carry the memory of my little girl,” she said. “I know that my little girl is an angel.”
Sirita’s foster father, Gary Malkasian, shared his thoughts on this sobering yet moving occasion and expressed appreciation to all of those who have been involved in not only putting the playground in the park but also to the Senators and Congressmen who helped to pass Sirita’s Law.
“Two and a half years ago, a celebration seemed inconceivable,” Malkasian said. “She has touched the lives of so many people.”
Malkasian reminded the crowd that there are over 9,000 kids in foster care in the State of Washington and more than half of those have been there for over three years. His plea is for more people to get involved and either become foster parents or at the least, contact public officials and help make these kid’s lives easier.
“These kids need you to stand up and fight for them,” he said.
The event was a huge success with Safeway donating ice cream and Thomas Kemper donating root beer for Root Beer Floats. LSHS Cheerleaders dished up the floats and Costco donated a gift certificate to help with supplies.
Lake Stevens City Council members, along with Senator Steve Hobbs, Representatives Hans Dunshee and John Lovick and former Rep. Toby Nixon where there to show their continued support of Sirita’s Law.
For more information on Sirita’s Law or how to get involved go to www.Siritalaw.com.