A Celebration of Life: Leslie Laronga

On Sunday, January 22nd, 2017, guests who had the honor of meeting Leslie Laronga gathered to celebrate her life. I have to be honest, I had only met her once. Leslie had prepared the flowers for one of ARF’s events last year. When the event started and people stood and began telling stories about Leslie, I could not fight back the tears. I had missed the opportunity of getting to know a great lady, an animal lover, and an angel on Earth.

Leslie Larong

Leslie Laronga

After all the beautiful stories were shared (good thing there were many funny ones – I am pretty sure everyone will remember the one about Leslie wanting to rescue a mongoose), the music started. At one point, Leslie’s brother played her drum set; I could just imagine Leslie smiling from the skies. It was pretty amazing that everyone was able to celebrate Leslie’s life with music, and of course dogs were allowed!

Robert Laronga, Leslie's brother.

Robert Laronga, Leslie’s brother.

This magnificent event could not have been possible without the initiative and strength of three amazing ladies: Enna Latten, Pat Annin, and Peggy Zurla. We also want to express our gratitude to Dr. Edison Osorio, owner of Yukayeke Playa Resort, for letting us use the facilities of his beautiful hotel, and to James DeJarnatt, manager of Yukayeke, for helping us with everything from day one. To all the musicians who came and shared your talent, we are thankful. And to everybody else who was present: thank you for joining us in a celebration of life full of love, good vibes, and peace.

Great music and dancing in Yucayeke Playa Resort. (In the picture: Kathryn Robinson and Wolfgang Ragowsky.)

Great music and dancing in Yucayeke Playa Resort. (In the picture: Kathryn Robinson and Wolfgang Ragowsky.)

I heard someone say, “Only a person like Leslie could have been able to make so many people come together.” There is no doubt about that.

Leslie Laronga (1955-2016)

Leslie Laronga (1955-2016)

Rest in Peace, Leslie.

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