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Memorial installed, dedicated in honor of three sisters

Glass artist, Laurie Wilson, installs the memorial glass at the River Falls Public Library.

The River Falls Girl Scouts, with the help of other youth groups, raised money to create a stain-glass memorial for the three Schaffhausen girls, Amara, Sophie and Cecilia, at the River Falls Public Library.

"When it happened, I felt like everybody. I just wanted to do something," said Girl Scout leader Kara Therriault, referring to last July when the sisters were killed in their home

Picking the location for the memorial was a quick decision.

Jessica Schaffhausen, their mom, said that all three girls were big readers, but Sophie in particular enjoyed spending time at the library.

The decision was then what to do for the memorial. The common goal was to make it about their life, not their death.

Therriault and Youth Services Librarian Monica LaVold had the idea to have stain glass made to fit in the windows of the library's children's section.

They wanted "something you could see," Therriault said.

Laurie Wilson was selected to be the artist.

Wilson was "honored and humbled" to do the project and hoped it would "evoke wonder and mystery, and not despair and sadness" in those who saw it.

Wilson said she picked bright, vibrant colors, but then tied in aspects of the three girls as well. For instance, Amara enjoyed science which was represented by the atom in the center picture, and Wilson picked the confetti glass to tie in some of Sophie's artwork.

"While (the windows) reflect the interest of each of the girls, it's universal to what kids are interested in,' said Library Director Nancy Miller. "I think people will like them."

The stain glass was installed at the library Thursday, May 30, and revealed by Girl Scouts to the community that night.