It’s been 11 years, but the memory of a Tri-City toddler lives on beyond her death.
Paris White drowned at home in July 2005, just days after she turned 2.
Now, her mom Deanna White and aunt Daya Cuillier work to keep her memory alive by trying to prevent accidental drownings from taking the lives of other young swimmers.
They are collecting new and used life jackets today at Cuillier’s business, Creations Salon & Spa, at 87 Keene Road in Richland. The spa is taking donations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The life jackets are then given to fire departments, police and the Coast Guard to fill the life vest loaning stations at state parks.
Cuillier said there are about 192 loaner boards at parks across Washington.
She called drowning a “silent killer” that often claims victims before anyone realizes the person is in trouble.
“It’s not that thrashing about we see in the movies,” Cuillier said.
So, she and her sister hope to provide as many of the life-saving devices as possible to anyone willing to strap one on a child or use one themselves.
They’re happy if they know they’ve helped save at least one life.
“It doesn’t matter. We just need one life jacket to help somebody,” Cuillier said.