"KSS monument remembers Hill, Wendt"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:23 AM
"Purple, red and yellow rosalea blooms poke their heads from beneath the snow. A sculpted tree stands in the middle of the concrete planter, surrounded by small shrubs. Klahowya Secondary School students might walk past and miss the small plaques fitted in the side of the memorial, but those who built it hope students will take a few minutes and read the names and reflect.We don't want anyone to forget Natasha. Her loss left a big gap in our hearts. In years to come we hope kids that didn't go to school with her will stop and think how life is precious and we're not guaranteed a tomorrow, said Rosalind O'Hara, mother of Natasha Hill, who died two years ago from complications of the streptococcus A bacteria.The memorial was constructed near the entrance to Klahowya to honor both Hill and Sarah Wendt, who died in a car accident in August 1998. The idea came out of the Rotary Interact Club at Klahowya, a youth branch of Rotary International. Erin Gregor, a close friend of Hill, was a member of the club and suggested it construct the memorial as a service project. It was a big goal of mine to get this done before I graduated, Gregor said. I graduated at the semester, so it was perfect.The concrete for the planter was donated by Kitsap Ready Mix and Fred Hill Materials, companies owned by Natasha's father. Other expenses were covered by money raised by the Rotary Interact Club. O'Hara planted the shrubs and flowers, and construction was performed by volunteers.I'm so impressed with the students that put this together - in this day and age you hear the bad news about teens who steal and hurt their parents. These are the good kids, O'Hara said.Both girls were described as compassionate by friends and family.Rosie (Sarah) was a very warm-hearted, compassionate and sincere - she was an outstanding young woman, said neighbor Barbara Coffey, who knew her since birth. Wendt volunteered for Camp Easter Seals and, in fact, she had left the camp to run an errand when she was killed in a car accident.Her goal was to help underprivileged and disabled kids, said Randy Wendt, Sarah's father.Natasha had been a cheerleader at King's West School in Chico before she attended Klahowya. She had many friends, most of whom remain close to her parents.She touched a lot of lives in the short time she was here, O'Hara said.Scholarships have been founded in each of the girls' names and donations are being sought to keep the funds going. Three $1,000 scholarships were awarded to seniors last year in Wendt's name - she would have graduated with them.Candidates need to demonstrate service to the community.The first scholarships from the Natasha Hill fund will be given this spring, when she would have graduated.We're looking for students who have interest in continuing their educations, O'Hara said. Not straight 'A' students, but students who are struggling. Also, someone with some of the same characteristics Tasha had - caring and compassion for others.The memorial will stand long after the students who knew Natasha and Sarah have graduated, but their memories will be preserved.It will be there a long time, Randy Wendt said. It's special because she was.To donateScholarships in the names of Sarah Wendt and Natasha Hill have been established for college-bound Klahowya Secondary School graduates. The funds are financed by donations. To contribute to the scholarship funds send checks to one or both of the following non-profit trusts:* Sarah Rose Wendt Scholarship Foundation P.O. Box 3094, Silverdale, 98383* Natasha Hill Scholarship Foundation 9360 Misery Point Road N.W. , Seabeck, 98380 "