Sandwich High School senior Lorali Curtis said that although she’d known fellow student Madison Mall for a long time, it was only in the past year they became closer. Still Mall had a big impact on her life.
“She’s actually the reason I joined color guard,” she said. “She got me out of my comfort zone and talked me into it. All the times I wanted to quit, she talked me out of it.”
The sudden death of Mall on Aug. 20 has devastated her family, friends and community members, dozens of whom gathered Wednesday at the Harvey Creek Conservation Area for a memorial service and celebration.
Mall’s aunt, Pam Krantz-Lee, said seeing the friends and family members turnout for the service and celebration reminded her how much her niece means to her. Several people in attendance gave remarks, recounting several memories of their time with Mall.
Junior Hailie Reyes said it’s difficult, knowing that Mall is gone, but she said she has a lot of memories of spending time with Mall.
Reyes and Mall were both color guard teammates at Sandwich High School.
“She would play country all the time,” she said. “I was getting into the swing of it. Carrie Underwood was the best out of all of them. It was the way she would talk about it. It opened up a new genre of music to me. I love it.”
Reyes hears Carrie Underwood or any other country music, she thinks of Mall. Curtis said Mall gave her all to color guard.
“She was definitely one of the most dedicated girls we had,” she said. “She’s been in it since her freshman year. This was her third year being captain.”
Ali Martinez, a color guard coach at Sandwich High School, was fighting back tears at the end of the memorial service and celebration of life. She said she had known Mall for about a year, and felt they were becoming closer.
“I was there with my sister when they were on the team together,” she said. “I’d always see her perform. She always had this confidence when she performed. She was always the one that you would look at because she was giving it her all. She loved color guard, and I was so excited to coach her.”
Martinez said she recently made a promise to Mall to make it a good color guard season.
“I plan on upholding that,” she said.
Krantz-Lee wanted the memorial service and celebration of life to bring greater awareness to suicide prevention to let people know there’s help.
“It’s very important to see all the support [with] family, friends and the kids being able to talk, heal, and actually find some peace and closure,” Krantz-Lee said.