Community Honors Lane Burrows’ on his 18th Birthday

On October 9th, 2022, The Live4Lane scholarship fund hosted a 5k memorial walk for beloved Dominion High School student Lane Burrows.


Alla Abdelhalim

Community members emotions show in their faces after listening to Maranda Heil’s speech.

In 2019 freshman Lane Burrows tragically passed away. This year the Live4lane scholarship fund organized a 5k walk which took place on his 18th birthday, October 9th, to honor him. The Live4Lane fund was raising money to award two scholarships to the class of 2023 in Lane’s honor; they will find out how much they raised next week. 

The walk began at 10 am at the front entrance of Dominion High School where 275 students and members of the community registered to show up for Lane. The Event Coordinator, Maranda Heil, Lane’s mother, said that the Live4Lane message is that people need to be educated on what mental illness can look like and how to help. “The way that we’re going to reduce and end the stigma [around mental illness] is through education,” Heil said. 

Sandra Kim, a community member said, “[The 5k] brings an awareness for mental health and takes the shame out of something that everyone has or will deal with in their lifetime.” 

A variety of people attended the walk including Lane’s middle school principal, former teachers, his neighbors, people who knew him and people who didn’t.

Lane’s middle school Principal at Seneca Ridge, Nick Cottone, said, ”[This walk allowed the community to] talk about some of the issues concerning mental health and not shy away from them.”

The scoreboard in the football stadium had Lane’s name, number and year of graduation during the walk to commemorate him. (Alla Abdelhalim)

Heil believes that by educating people about mental health it will give people opportunities to speak about it instead of letting it escalate. Heil said, “If our students said they had a broken bone, we wouldn’t ask them to ‘keep walking.” According to Heil using phrases like ‘man up’ is doing that to mental health.

Will Wajsgras, a senior who grew up with Lane, said, “Even if it doesn’t look like someone is struggling, they could very well still be struggling with mental health and it needs to be talked about and not be silenced.” 

According to Heil, the fundraiser was a 5k because mental health is not only self-care, but physical care as well. “I knew that we could do that through a walk and just bringing awareness…creating a safe space for just the moment where we’re able to just share a little bit of information,” Heil said.

“I’m very honored and humbled [that the community showed up in this way]. I think it shows the type of inclusion and openness of our community because it’s not always like that in other communities,” Heil said.