A memorial scholarship has been established to honor a Kennewick native who died in the Oso mudslide that killed 41 people last month.
Donations to the Amanda Lennick Memorial Scholarship will help to support a nursing student at Washington State University Tri-Cities who has a record of community service, said her parents, Dennis and Jamie Lennick of Kennewick.
Mandy Lennick, 31, bought her first home in Oso a week before the deadly mudslide.
The nurse at Providence hospital in Everett made an offer on the riverfront property in Oso, and knew she had found her home, her "little piece of Montana," her parents said.
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Even before the property closed, Mandy visited the area every weekend, walking the neighborhood and getting to know her future neighbors, her parents said.
The beauty and peace she experienced in the woods and mountains around Oso was exactly what she wanted. It was life-changing, they said.
Mandy's parents are high school sweethearts from Kalispell, a small town in Western Montana. The time Mandy spent with her grandparents on Flathead Lake in Montana instilled in her a love for woods and mountains, her parents said.
The 2001 Kennewick High graduate earned her bachelor's in nursing from WSU Tri-Cities in 2006. Along the way, Mandy volunteered during Hurricane Katrina and later went to Belize as a medical missionary.
"Mandy was a strong, independent person with a heart of gold," her mother said.
Mandy's mother said she and her daughter shared quotes weekly by email and that Mandy shared them on a daily basis on Facebook.
One of Mandy's favorites was this: "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. ... If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it'd be easy; they just promised it'd be worth it."
"She was starting a new chapter in her life in many ways, being a new homeowner one of them. New chapters in your life can be so exciting, but they can also be a little scary -- she loved the quote for the reminder to go ahead and take the chance," her mother told the Herald.
Members of the Flathead High School Class of 1971 -- Jamie and Dennis Lennick's graduating class -- with the family's help, set up the annual nursing scholarship to carry on Mandy's legacy.
Tax-deductible donations can be made online at http://bit.ly/Mandyaccount or by check to: WSU College of Nursing, P.O. Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99210. Whether online or by mail, specify that your gift is for the Amanda Lennick Memorial Scholarship.