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Name Date Entry
Nancy & Shannon Williams 04/18/06

We were very shocked when we heard about Kathryn. Shannon has many fond memories of Kathryn from Primadonna, DanceWest, and Steps. She remembers the many recitals, Nutcrackers, competitions, and dance classes. She said one of her most favorites was when the girls danced for American Girl, which turned out to be one of their last dances together at Primadonna. Shannon never forgot Kathryn after we moved to Texas.

We both remember Kathryn's incredible smile and laugh. It was contagious. Kathryn always had words of wisdom for Shannon when she was down or upset. It seems that Kathryn had a knack for knowing when someone was down in the dumps which Shannon was after she found out we were moving to Texas at the beginning of her junior year in high school. Even though there was 3 years difference in Kathryn and Shannon, Shannon always considered Kathryn a close friend.

I know that Kathryn's presence at Steps, North, Naperville, and the Bender family is truly missed. I am truly sorry for all the lives that she will not be able to touch at NIU-they won't know what they have missed.

I know that Kathryn in dancing in heaven for all those that went before her.

Kathryn-"I hope you dance".

Neal Leatherman 04/18/06

As the Social Worker at WJHS, I knew who Kathryn was, but didn't really know her. After talking with people and spending some time on this memorial website, I feel like her life has been shared with me. We all need to know about people like Kathryn who have spirit and who pass on gifts of love and support to others. It awakens us once again to what life is all about. I am thankful for the opportunity to get a glimpse of your sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, and friend. I will be at the 5k run in May and will run even harder knowing that day is in memory of such a girl. I have two girls of my own, and I worry less about the future when I'm reminded what little girls can become....Kathryns!

Jacob Class 04/19/06

I didn't know Kathryn that well, but I knew that she was a very sweet girl and I knew that Nick loved her a lot. I want to be able to show my support for Nick even though I am further away now. The experience has shown me that my brothers are that much more precious and I need to treat them so. Thanks for everything Nick.

Lisa Dawn Foertsch 04/19/06

Nick Bender, Kathryn's older brother, is a very important friend of mine. He's a wonderful person with a beautiful heart and spirit. I did not get the chance to meet Kathryn... However, through the love Nick has for her, Kathryn is still touching hearts and creating smiles. I am humbled and touched to know Nick and inspired by the love the Bender family shares for one another. I am thankful to have been told of Kathryn's life and the effects her spirit has on so many others. Even me. Thank you to God and Kathryn for Nick's friendship.

Nikki Bergin 4/22/06

This is an amazing web site. It is a beautiful tribute to Kathryn, you should be proud.

Although I have not seen the Bender family in quite a while, I was devestated to hear of your loss. Kathryn was a beautiful and intelligent woman.

I knew Kathryn when she was a young and have always been impressed by her dancing abilities. I remember coming back to Naperville to visit the Falconio's after being away at college. Megs and I went to see Elizabeth, Kathryn and Nick at one of their hip hop classes. We had only planned on stopping by so I could say hi. At that point Nick had just starting dancing. All three amazed me! Megs and I ended up staying for the entire class. I always knew Elizabeth and Kathryn were great dancers but I never knew Nick was a little Back Street boy!

Doris, Elizabeth and Nick- You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss and wish you comfort in the difficult time.

JoJo Gloël 4/22/06

To Kathryn's family and friends - I was Nick's Stage Manager for the Crucible at the time of Kathryn's passing. When Nick was ready, he came back to rehearsal a few days later and told us some of Kathryn's story. I had never met her, but was upset that I hadn't after hearing Nick speak of her. She seemed to be such a wonderful inspiration to everyone she was in contact with.

Nick told us that night that we should tell our loved ones that we love them everyday and that if we are fighting or just having a tiff with anyone that we care about, to just let it go, because none of us know how long we have with each other here on earth.

Nick inspired me that night to call my mother who lives far away who I was having a fight with and we weren't speaking. Thank you to Kathryn & Nick for that. It's wonderful every time we are reminded of things like that - what a special gift life really is. I'm still not perfect with my mother and just looking at this beautiful webpage of Kathryn's life today has reminded me of this once again.

I'm going to be one of the volunteers helping at Kathryn's dance benifit in May. To all of you that I have never met who loved Kathryn so much - I am very proud to be a part of this & would love to help in the future if you ever need me to.

love, jojo**

Eileen Lannon 4/25/06

To all who have submitted pictures: I love looking at all the pictures of you and Kathryn! They are wonderful. It makes me realize even more how many people miss her. Thank you so much.

Julia Esbjornson 4/29/06

I didn't know Kathryn at all until the Friday before Halloween of 2005. I never really liked ballet but Kathryn made it fun and easy. Every Friday I'd look forward to having her teach me. I still practice at home some of the warm-ups she went through with us. (I'm in Petite group.) She even picked out our ballet costume and song. That costume is the best out of them all.

Connor Burke 5/2/06

I unfortunately never got the chance to meet Kathryn, but I have been lucky enough to know her brother. Nick has been a great friend and a constant inspiration throughout this year. I cherish every moment we got to work together. One thought that was often repeated after Kathryn passed on, was that it's easy to take things for granted. I just wanted to say that I would not exchange Nick's friendship for anything, he is one of the strongest people I know, and I hope to work with him again soon.

Emily Rosenberg 4/11/06

I've known Kathryn my whole life. She was always a beautiful dancer and you could always count on seeing her similing face on stage. Kathryn, I just want you to know that everyone who knew you will always love you and miss you.