The event was created out of tragedy, but on Saturday night the auditorium at Westfield High School rang with laughter and cheers during the Remembrance Cabaret for Reema Samaha.
Reema Samaha, of Centreville, died at Virginia Tech during the shootings on campus five years ago. A Westfield graduate, Reema loved the performing arts, particularly theatre and dance. The cabaret is held every year at Westfield in her memory. One of the performances included the Contemporary Dance Ensemble of Virginia Tech dancing to "Andaloosia," which Reema choreographed as a student at VT.
Reema's parents, Joe and Mona Samaha, distribute scholarships every year to graduating students from Westfield and Herndon High schools. A recipient of the Reema J. Samaha Memorial Scholarship for 2012, Katie Tontodonato, performed "Sing, Sing, Sing!" at the cabaret.
The audience and participants at the event also paid tribute to the Samaha family for their determination to honor Reema's memory through the scholarships and Angel Fund, a nonprofit organization.
"Samahas, your courage has a ripple effect," said Sophia Teie, who spoke about the Actively Caring for People movement.
At the end of the evening, Joe and Mona Samaha thanked everyone present for their support over the years.
"Our heart was completely broken—and it's still broken—but it's mended with your love," Mona Samaha told the audience.
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To see last year's Remembrance Cabaret, click here.