NEW ORLEANS - She was known for her work in the community. Kara Morgan, the president of the Irish Channel Association, did all she could to make the neighborhood she loved a better place.
Now, neighbors say Morgan is in a better place after losing a long battle with skin cancer.
Friends, family and neighbors came together to celebrate 40-year-old Kara Morgan's life just they way she would have want them to, with a second line, bright colors, festive costumes and Saints gear.
'She was very passionate,' says her older sister Kristine Rizzuto. 'Ya know, this was her home and she loved it very much.'
Yet, it is her love and passion for serving the community that she will be remembered most for.
'She touched a lot of people's lives in a lot of different ways,' Rizzuto said. 'She made us all better and made this place a little bit better.'
Morgan, who was the president of the Irish Channel Association for five years, devoted her time to improving parks, playgrounds and recreational programs.
In 2010, the mother of two was diagnosed with a deadly form of skin cancer.
Despite expensive and time-consuming cancer treatments in Houston, she soon began advocating for skin cancer prevention. She even helped lawmakers pass a law banning minors from using tanning beds.
'It was due to sun damage and so she was a real advocate of shade, sunscreen and trying to protect our kids and families,' says Ed McGinnis, who worked alongside Morgan at the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association.
Now the Irish channel Association is continuing her work, which includes raising money for a project that would add shade structures in parks throughout the community.
'It is pretty tough when you are meeting with the family and Kara and we're making these plans,' says McGinnis. 'When Kara asked us to do this, number one, we couldn't tell her no.'
While the community celebrates her life and all she stood for, they hope it will remind others to live life to the fullest, just like she did.
'I would want people to remember to be happy, be kind and to love your neighbor and to make your community a little bit better,' says Rizzuto.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that any and all contributions be donated to the Kara Morgan Shade Fund.
In just one week, the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association has raised over $6,000 to put towards her project.
Donations can be made to the fund by sending a check or money order to:
Irish Channel Neighborhood Association
P. O. Box 751025
New Orleans, LA 70175-1025
If you prefer, you can donate via PayPal by clicking here.