Shayla Rae Dawn Driver did not die in vain.
She did die, at age 21, last December as she tried to navigate a treacherous curvy road near Kelowna.
She left behind a mother, a boyfriend, numerous other friends and relatives, and several social agencies mourning her loss.
And she would have been proud of how they're remembering her.
Driver's mother Tonya Alton is making sure Shayla's passion for helping the less fortunate does not end because she's gone.
So Alton created the $1,000 Shayla Rae Dawn Driver Memorial Bursar at Thompson Rivers University, where her daughter had completed a human service degree and was going to study social work. She was also involved in volunteering with several social agencies in Kamloops.
On Dec. 12, 2011, Driver was on a road heading east of McKinley Landing near Kelowna on an S-curve by a reservoir. Part of the road can become slippery because of shadows and frost.
Her car went down a 10-metre embankment and landed upside down into the reservoir. Driver died three hours later in hospital.
To help fund that bursary, Alton has organized a celebration of her daughter's life that's open to anyone and everyone.
Called ShaeHarmony Day, the event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Riverside Park. There's admission by donation, and there will be a silent art auction and $2 booths for face painting, flowers, bubbles/hula hoops and pebble stands.
Shayla loved not just helping people, but art, music, poetry and her aboriginal roots, Alton said.
Friends and family will give an opening tribute and after the booths and activities close up at 3:45 p.m., there will be a release of 21 painted lady butterfies in Shayla's honour.
Alton said there's a village in Mexico where the residents believe butterflies carry people's souls to heaven. Shayla always loved butterflies, so it seemed only right to release 21 of them — one for each of her years of life.
The bursary is special, too. It has to go to a student who has experience with mental health issues, either in person or through someone he or she knows. Preference will go to an aboriginal student.
Alton said she has already made one change in Shayla's name. She lobbied the officials responsible to have safeguards put in place at the dangerous stretch of road where her daughter died.
Three days before Mother's Day, the district approved $300,000 to realign the road and put down barricades, she said.
"It should be completed by wintertime," she said.
"I was up in Kelowna, at that crash site, on my hands and knees crying, at Christmastime. That has some impact."
With that done, Alton has turned to the bursary and fundraiser to help others become what her daughter's goal was.
"Education was important to her. It's a unique bursary, reflective of her commitment to community," she said.