Group to Celebrate Lost Lives With Smiles

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A North Omaha group is turning the tragedy of losing a loved one to violence into something positive.

Valencia Hogan's mother Lashari kicked off a celebration event Wednesday in her daughter's honor. Valencia was a teenager who was cut down by gunfire two years ago this August.

Balloons were sent aloft Wednesday for loved ones and the family of Valencia Hogan.

Lashari said, "I'm just trying to keep my baby alive and keep everybody remembering her."

Lashari also officially kicked off a new non-profit in the form of

At Valencia Hogan's gravesite, a fitting celebration though the case is still unsolved. They celebrated her 22nd birthday.

Lashari said, "I don't know how many years I'm going to celebrate her birthday. All I know is that it is still fresh. I still miss my baby."

A group of mothers and family members across town decided to organize a day to celebrate the lives of those they've lost. They call themselves the Families of the Stolen and they're creating a Day of Laughter.

The goal is to help the children laugh and have fun in honor of their fallen family member.

Barbara Robinson is one of the organizers and she said, "The adults in the family get the consoling and sympathy but the children are the ones that are left behind and they are left without their parent. They go to school, they want their parents there."

The Day of Laughter will be held May 25th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Fontenelle Park, 4405 Fontenelle Blvd.

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