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Lina VergaraLina Vergara was an elementary education student with majors in bilingual education and English as a Second Language (SEL) with aspirations of teaching third grade following graduation.

Unfortunately, at just 20 years old, Vergara lost her life in an unexpected rafting accident on the Wolf River.

Shortly after her death, the Vergara family established the Lina Vergara Memorial Scholarship to assist future elementary education teachers who share Vergara’s caring nature and dream of a better world.

The Vergara family also organized the annual Glowing Smiles 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Dash to raise funds for the scholarship, as well as pay tribute to their daughter.  

The fourth annual Glowing Smiles Run/Walk will be held Saturday, May 7, 2016 at Orchid Heights Park Shelter in Middleton, Wis. The run begins at 9 a.m. with the Kids Dash at 9:15 a.m. and the 5K Run/Walk at 10 a.m. Cost is $30 per person if registered before April 15. The Kids Dash is free.

To read more about Vegara’s story, register for the run/walk or learn about the other focus of her family’s efforts—advocacy for increased safety regulations of companies that rent rafts on the Wolf River, visit

To make a contribution to Lina’s scholarship fund, visit the Foundation’s online giving page.