Wayne State College honors late Frank LaMere as part of International Heart Day
Thursday was International Heart Day and Wayne State College took part of the day to honor a Nebraskan who poured his heart into helping others: Frank LaMere.
"Frank LaMere's impact was vast," Winnebago Public Health Administrator Mona Zuffante. "It was always amazing listening to him speak over the years."
LaMere, a Winnebago Tribe member, was scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the Heart Day activities at the school, but he passed away in June.
They took time at the beginning of the program to reflect on his life of activism.
"He would always be traveling," Zuffante said. "Going from Washington D.C. to California to South Dakota, fighting, bringing the questions up that people didn't ever want to hear and didn't want to hear the answers to. He was just a very great man and he showed people that we could do it. Even if it took a very long time, that we'd be persistent."
They showed videos, pictures and quotes from LaMere. Organizers say they hope to inspire students to work toward a more equitable future like as LaMere had spent his life doing.
"Using Frank LaMere as a model and an inspiration, we're really moving forward and advocating for those whose voices may not be heard by everyone," Wayne State professor and event coordinator Dr. Barbara Engebretsen said.
Still they realize that continuing on his legacy is not an easy task.
"I don't think anyone could ever fill Frank LaMere's shoes," Zuffante said. "I don't think there's even enough people in America to fill his shoes, but we can always all do our part. Raise those questions. Raise awareness. Remember who we are."