Hopkins mother hopes memorial fund honoring her late daughter helps other students pursue the arts
A Hopkins mom is launching a memorial fund to honor her teenage daughter after she died in a car accident in July, about a week before her birthday.
16-year-old Keira Duffy was set to start her senior year at Hopkins High School.
Katie York, Keira’s mother, is hoping to honor her memory by helping future students who share the same passions that she did.
York and her daughter formed a strong bond through the melody of music.
“I played violin as well. So she would always want me to do some duets with her,” York said.
The sweet sound of a violin would echo through her home, but now it’s quiet.
“It’s hard to describe,” York said. “To have multiple deaths in your family is overwhelming.”
On Sunday, July 2, York’s world changed forever.
Her dad and daughter were driving in Iowa when they were killed in a head-on collision. York’s mom was also in the car and she survived.
After nearly three months and four surgeries, she was released from the hospital.
“Fortunately, she’s doing well and she’s home now,” York said.“I think that that’s been a big focus and purpose for me to just keep going.”
But being in the orchestra room at Hopkins High School makes time stop.
“It’s tough. There’s a lot of memories,” York said.
Allison Swiggum, Hopkins High School faculty, was Keira’s orchestra teacher for years.
“She was such a special student,” Swiggum said. “She was a really, really talented violinist and just a natural leader.”
Swiggum said the plan is for the orchestra to honor her at the winter concert because Keira was supposed to be the concertmaster, leader of the orchestra, this year.
York is also making sure her daughter’s legacy stays alive.
“She was very passionate about social justice,” York said.
The family is launching the Keira Duffy Memorial Fund to help students who may not have the means to pursue the arts.
“Whether it’s a scholarship, whether it’s to buy a new instrument for someone that can’t afford it or we want to be able to maybe send somebody to a music camp,” York said. “Whatever the need is, we want to be able to supply it.”
The goal is to give someone else the opportunity to get closer to their goals that 16-year-old Keira didn’t have the chance to reach.
“I think the world lost a young girl who had so much potential and who had a whole life ahead of her,” York said. “She would have done amazing things and impacted even that many more people than she already did.”
The family said they’re putting the finishing touches on the memorial fund and it should be ready to launch in the coming months.
For donations and ways to help contact Katie York at firstname.lastname@example.org.