For additional than a decade, generations of CU Boulder learners, faculty and team made acquaintance with a person of the finest friends they could at any time have. And by the guidance of people today around the country, her legacy will are living on for several years to come.
Teri Leiker, a longtime affiliate of the university’s chapter of the countrywide Finest Buddies method and superfan of the Golden Buffaloes Marching Band, died on March 22, 2021 for the duration of the taking pictures at King Soopers on Table Mesa. She was remembered throughout a services April 9 at the CU Situations Heart.
Her friends and spouse and children spoke at the memorial about Leiker’s self confidence and charisma, which shone brightly in her many years-lengthy occupation at King Soopers, as well as in the rest of her life.
Head to toe CU
The night time prior to each individual CU Football dwelling activity, the Golden Buffalo Marching Band traces up in entrance of the Boulder County Courthouse for the Pearl Avenue Stampede. It’s a 20-12 months custom engineered to hoopla up Buffs lovers, and couple had been at any time as hyped up as Leiker.
“The very last number of months I’ve been wondering back again to all of our interactions,” explained Matthew Dockendorf, Golden Buffaloes Marching Band director. “She was often there in advance of the marching band obtained there.”
Devoid of missing a beat upon their arrival, Leiker would unfailingly make a bee-line for Dockendorf or band members, seeking to chat about the band or the upcoming day’s matchup.
“She was just head to toe CU, cheering and singing the combat song,” Dockendorf said. The CU Boulder struggle tune was so pricey to Leiker that it was printed in the booklet at her memorial.
Inspite of not obtaining a Stampede because 2019, Dockendorf stated band associates, school users and other people swiftly felt a pull to do something to honor Leiker’s spirit.
“We did not know what that was however, no matter if that is a minute of silence or an award at the conclude of 12 months banquet,” he said.
Then two donors, Marty Coffin Evans and Robert Trembly, stepped in, supplying a mixed $10,000 to begin the Teri Leiker Memorial Marching Band Scholarship. Dockendorf suggests their target is to elevate $25,000, enabling the scholarship to grow to be an endowment, which would are living on in perpetuity.
“We would award an annual scholarship to a university student who signifies faculty spirit, generosity, and kindness.” Dockendorf stated, all attributes that Leiker embodied.
Dockendorf mentioned the band also programs to maintain a moment of silence for Leiker at the upcoming Pearl Street Stampede, which he hopes could be this slide.
“She was a good influence on so numerous persons. It was these kinds of a pleasure to see her and to see her smile,” he stated. “We hope that she can nevertheless listen to us in the foreseeable future.”
A excellent buddy
“I’m going to cry as I think about it,” stated CU Boulder Ideal Buddies school advisor Oliver Gerland, who attended the memorial. “She touched people’s lives who went to that King Soopers and would get in line precisely to have her bag their groceries just so they could discuss to her.”
Most effective Buddies is a nationwide firm which appears to be to close isolation of people today with mental or developmental disabilities. When Gerland began doing work with CU’s chapter 3 years ago, Leiker, who experienced been involved for quite a few yrs, stood out quickly.
“I noticed her as a leader, truthfully. She aided me get comfy with the group,” Gerland reported.
Right after the taking pictures, the countrywide headquarters of Most effective Buddies elevated just about $60,000 for Leiker’s relatives. Ideal Buddies also introduced designs to raise yet another $150,000 to make a satellite office in Boulder bearing her name.
“The reality that they’re naming it immediately after her is important,” claimed Liz Lajoie, CU Most effective Buddies president. “It’s so unique that that workplace is heading to extend Most effective Buddies programming in the West and in Colorado, since Teri beloved Greatest Buddies so considerably.”
Honoring victims, supporting the neighborhood
Leiker was 1 of ten men and women killed through the March 22 taking pictures. CU Boulder has set up a committee to honor all of the victims and aid the neighborhood healing method.
You can submit other tips for neighborhood support or get involved by traveling to the CU Boulder March 22 group assistance web page.