Banta sisters memorial in the works

In late January two north Iowa teenagers lost their lives in a car accident on an icy roads.

19-year old Tiffany Banta and her younger sister 15-year old Chyann Banta lost control of their vehicle and hit an oncoming car.

Now, nearly two months later we’re learning of an effort to honor the girls and others in the area with a special memorial.

“Yeah, Chyann was one of my best friends.”

High School freshman Jasie Heightland says it’s been difficult being at school without Chyann.

“I had quite a few classes with her so just seeing her not there and still kind of expecting her to walk in the room.”

Memories are all she has to hang onto since losing her friend in January.

“It’s really weird not having her around and I miss her a lot.”

Now Jasie is working to make sure there’s more than just memories to honor Chyann and her 19-year old sister Tiffany Banta, both lost their lives in a car accident on icy roads.

Jasie has been working along side Steve Hanna, the 68-year old who was driving the other vehicle involved in the accident.

“Him and I kind of kept in contact and just talked and everything and he mentioned to me that he would like to build a gazebo in honor of the Banta Sisters,” explains Jasie.

She and Steve have a goal of raising $10,000 enough to buy materials to construct a memorial gazebo that Steve plans on building himself.

“He was actually going, he was looking at gazebos that day that it happened and so he thought well just because this accident happened doesn’t mean that I have to stop building it, I can just continue on but put them in also in honor of them,” says Jasie.

The plan is to hold two fundraisers, one at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mason City and the other at The OP in Clear Lake, two restaurants that Tiffany Banta used to work at.

Both have agreed to donate 10% of proceeds to the gazebo project.

And for Jasie, she hopes the structure will remind others of the kind of people tiffany and Chyann were.

“Just how much they cared for people and how nice they were and how much fun they were to be around and that’s something I hope will continue to remember.”

The first of the two fund-raisers will be held at Buffalo Wild Wings on April 23rd.

In order to attend you must have a ticket with you (you cannot get tickets at the restaurant). Follow this link to print off the tickets:

http://www.garner.k12.ia.us/pages/Garner-Hayfield_Community_Scho/Banta_Memorial_Fundraiser_-_Do/Banta_Memorial_Fundraiser

A second fund-raiser will be held May 10th at The OP in Clear Lake, no tickets are needed for this event.

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