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Family working on late teen’s bucket list

5K will be in Landherr’s memory

Tess Landherr dreamed of building an igloo, solving a mystery and chasing storms.

A car crash took the 16-year-old’s life in February, but the Rose Creek resident’s family and friends are working to do the activities she never had a chance to try — and next on the agenda is running a race.

“Tess had a bucket list, and running a 5K was one of the things she wanted to do,” said Tess’ mother, Kim Landherr.

The Tess Marie Landherr Memorial 5K Run/Walk takes place at 10 a.m. Aug. 17. The path starts on the Shooting Star Bike Trail at Rose Creek and follows the path toward Adams. It ends at the site of the car accident that claimed Tess’ life. The run comes shortly before Tess’ birthday on Aug. 22, which is later followed by the six-month mark since the accident.

More than 210 people were already planning to attend as of Friday afternoon, Kim said.

“They’ve been really receptive about it,” she said.

Kim’s sister, Dawn Peters, came up with the idea around Easter this year. She was visiting Kim and decided to go on a run in the Rose Creek area.

“The first time I ran I came upon the accident site. I thought to myself, ‘I cannot let this girl ever be forgotten,’” Peters said. “I took two things that I love — Tess and running — and I put a plan into action.”

The run is the latest in a list of efforts to cross off as many of the 58 items on Tess’ bucket list as possible. She started the list a few years ago, when the Landherrs

traveled to watch a space shuttle launch. It was an opportunity for Tess’ father to cross an item off his own bucket list, and it sparked Tess’ interest in her own.

There are several Tess herself did before she passed away, from climbing a water tower to playing hide-and-seek in a Walmart. Others, like giving blood or voting for the first time, were coming up in the near future.

Southland High School’s March blood drive was held in Tess’ memory to clear one of those items off the list. It was one of many actions done as a tribute to help complete a bucket list left unfinished, and friends and family are still looking for other ways to contribute.

“More people are coming in and trying to fulfill things,” Kim said. “They’ve asked me what’s on there that they can do for her.”

A friend of Kim’s was on vacation in Florida and went parasailing. Kim checked the activity off the list. Tess wanted to save somebody’s life. As a tissue donor, she may have come close. There are many more items to go, from creating a clothing line to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. People were in awe by the imaginative and ambitious goals when they heard the full list read during the eulogy at Tess’ funeral.

“She was just well-rounded,” Kim said. “She was into so much.”

The list is the legacy of an adventurous, energetic girl with a penchant for traveling. Tess and her family took trips often, and typically would sleep in a tent rather than opt for a hotel room or camper. As Kim put it, Tess understood that “life is an adventure.”

Registration for the 5K is $25. All proceeds go to the Tess Landherr Scholarship Fund, which goes to a Southland High School graduate every spring. Visit http://dewcrzy.wix.com/tesslandherr5k for an entry form. Same-day registration will also be allowed the morning of the run.