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United Way establishes Renee Beyer fund in her memory

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LOWVILLE — Before learning a fund in memory of Renee J. Beyer, former Lewis County senior planner, was being established, Legislative Chairman Michael A. Tabolt was still struggling with the nearly daily question about her sudden death in a car accident in April: Why?

“Why would the Lord put somebody in our midst so helpful to everybody and so friendly, so willing to lend a hand, and all of a sudden they’re gone?” he said to family, friends and colleagues of Mrs. Beyer who gathered Tuesday morning for the announcement of the Renee Beyer-United Way Fund.

“Today,” Mr. Tabolt said, “this makes sense. The purpose of Renee goes on for generations.”

The thought of that, he said, “helps me, and I hope it helps you.”

On behalf of Mrs. Beyer’s family, Sarah J. Bullock, director of community services, spoke to those gathered.

“Renee always put the needs of others ahead of her own and never failed to recognize the value of a strong community,” she said. “While we lost a great visionary and advocate, it is through her memory and the Renee Beyer-United Way Fund that Lewis County will benefit again.”

Administered through the Northern New York Community Foundation, Watertown, donations will have to reach the $100,000 mark before interest dividends can be given out.

To jump-start the fund, United Way donated $2,500 at the announcement.

Along with her work with the county Economic Development and Planning Department since 2005, Mrs. Beyer and her husband, Dean, operated Aspen Knoll Cabins on Swernicki Road.

She was also a graduate of the inaugural class of the Lewis County Leadership Academy in 2012, a member of the Double Play Sports board of directors, a former member of the Hand In Hand Early Childcare Center board and a team sponsor and coach for youth soccer.

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