Miami Law students presented the South Florida Bike Coalition with a $2,200 check in honor of Natasha Pettigrew – the law student who was struck and killed by a vehicle while riding her bike in the early morning hours last semester. Pettigrew had taken a leave of absence from law school to campaign for the U.S. Senate seat in Maryland as the Green Party Candidate.
The money was raised both by the Inter-Club Council (ICC) and from a fundraising event held in February. The ICC hosted its first ever Philanthropy Week last week which involved a series of events to support a unified cause which this year was the South Florida Bike Coalition. The events raised $1,600, the most successful one being a drag show, which was actually first envisioned last year by Ms. Pettigrew. OUTLaw and the Labor & Employment Law Student Association (LELA) worked together to bring her vision to life.
The additional funds were raised when friends, students and faculty gathered to participate in Natasha's Memorial Ride – a 10-mile bike ride where nearly 50 people rode through Coral Gables and South Miami, retracing some of the routes Natasha used for training for various triathlons.
The check was presented to the South Florida Bike Coalition's Director Kathryn Moore on Saturday during the annual Barristers' Ball, the law school's annual dinner and dance event hosted by The Society of Bar & Gavel that commemorates the achievements of students, faculty, and alumni.
"I feel honored to be able to connect with her legacy in this way," said Moore. "On behalf of the bike coalition, I promise to be a long-term steward of this money and these funds."
During her time at Miami Law, Natasha assisted families in homeless shelters through the HOPE (Helping Others through Pro Bono Efforts) Public Interest Resource Center. She also participated in the Children & Youth Law Clinic, where she represented foster and former foster kids. She was often accompanied by her 11-year-old, three-legged chocolate Labrador she had rescued.
"I didn't know her personally," said Moore. "I got to know more about her story and I realized she's not just someone who died while riding her bike. Her story is just incredible. Everything about her life is very impressive and it's inspiring."
The donation will work to promote safer bicycling around the University.
"It's interesting we're partnering with the law school," said Moore. "So many people lose their lives this way in this country. It seems like it's time to address this."