Photo: Cades Cove at dawn
First, on behalf of our team, thank you for everyone's kind words.
A lot of runners, some here in Washington D.C. and others from far away running clubs, have asked what they can do to help. Perhaps at your next practice you can see if any of your respective teammates might wish to contribute some money for the cause outlined below, which comes directly from her family. I'm sure even the smallest sum of money will be greatly appreciated. It's an incredibly selfless gesture on their part and one that benefits all of us runners. I've run the loop before myself and it's a real treasure.
From Lauren's family:
Many of you have been kind enough to ask where to send flowers, food, and other things to memorialize Lauren and help out her family.
The thing that would mean the most to Lauren and her family is to make a donation in her honor to an organization called the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They help take care of Cades Cove, a magical place in the Great Smoky Mountains that is one of Lauren's most treasured places. She and her family spent lots of time camping and hiking there, and Lauren goes back runs around Cades Cove every time she returns to Knoxville. She was so excited about running two laps, more than 20 miles, around Cades Cove at Christmas. On multiple occasions in recent years, Lauren lamented that the budget for maintaining the park was declining. If you want to learn more about this organization, you can visit:
If you would like to do something, please make a donation in Lauren's honor to:
Lauren Woodall Roady Fund
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
P.O. Box 1660
Kodak, TN 37764-7660
Her family returns to Cades Cove many times each year, and it will comfort them to know that the people who care about Lauren are helping care for one of Lauren's most cherished places.