In loving memory of Laura Kate Smither
The Laura Recovery Center proudly announces that Friendswood High School graduate Molly Chen is the 18th recipient of the Laura Smither Scholarship. This annual $3,000 merit based scholarship honors the memory of Laura Kate Smither, who was abducted and murdered in Friendswood, April 3, 1997.
Molly is a young lady of many interests, spanning both the sciences and the arts. She will graduate 4th in her class from Friendswood High School this year. Molly has chosen to study Computer Science and Bioinformatics at Duke University, where she has been accepted. Molly is interested in mental health issues and hopes to bring the power of computer science and databases to help better the lives of patients. As a preview of her university study she placed well in the Friendswood and Galveston county science fairs with an original project which looked at the relationship between DNA abnormalities and mental disorders. Molly intends to continue her studies on mental health issues.
She has volunteered in numerous ways, giving back to our community through church related activities and doing impressive work to combat teen suicide through online resources, including working with 7 Cups of Tea – an active listening online resource for suicide prevention. The compassion Molly exhibits in doing this work will undoubtedly lead to great work in the mental health field.
Molly's accomplishments include tutoring through the Math and Science Clubs, serving as President of the Latin Club, and membership in the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, and the National Art Honor Society.
Laura's parents, Bob and Gay Smither, are so proud of all past scholarship recipients and the many accomplishments they have made in their lives. The Smithers have no doubt that Molly will represent the scholarship and the memory of Laura well. The Laura Recovery Center and the Laura Smither Scholarship Committee wish Molly Chen every success in her college years and beyond. God Speed Molly!
The Laura Smither Scholarship is a merit based scholarship open to all the children of Friendswood. Application forms can be found on line at www.LRCF.org. The deadline for the scholarship is March 31st annually. Tax exempt donations to the Laura Smither Scholarship Endowment Fund will be gratefully received at Wells Fargo Bank in Friendswood designating the Laura Smither Scholarship in the memo of the check. Donations may also be mailed to: Laura Recovery Center, 2600 Ware Dairy Road,
Friendswood, Texas 77546.
April 3, 2015, marks the 18th anniversary of the abduction and murder of Laura Kate Smither. No one has been charged in her murder. Laura's brother, David, has prepared a nine day prayer series (a Novena) to seek the softening of Laura's killer's heart and that God's justice be accomplished for her. Please join us in this nine day prayer for justice for Laura. You can begin at any time - all prayers are available on this page. Please read the Introduction, then follow the prayer suggestions over a nine day period.
Annually the Smither family invites the public to join them on a mass novena prayer for Laura. This is usually only once a year, at the time of Laura's April 3rd abduction and murder anniversary date. If you would like to be on the E-mail list for these prayers with the Smither family, just send an e-mail addressed as:
with a subject line as follows:
If you subscribe to the mail list you will receive a daily message for the nine days of the Novena, starting with the Introduction. This is generally 9 days prior to the anniversary date of April 3 or beginning with the anniversary date. The Smither family is VERY grateful for your prayers at ANY time, and take this opportunity to thank you for remembering Laura in this way.
If you would like to pray the novena at any time, it is available below in PDF form for download.
Here is our original Invitational E-Mail from 2009.
Laura's priest, who helped us so much in 1997, forwarded our invitational e-mail with a heart felt cover letter.
The novena prayer prepared by Laura's brother, David, is available below.
Laura Smither Scholarship
In loving memory of Laura Kate Smither - 1984-1997
The Laura Smither Scholarship is a merit based scholarship in the amount of $3,000.
Deadline: March 31st annually.
Eligibility: City of Friendswood residents.
An Application for the Laura Smither Scholarship can be downloaded below from this page.
The scholarship committee will announce each year's scholarship recipient through the local papers.
Previous Laura Smither Scholarship winners are:
- 2015 Molly Chen (Duke University, NC)
- 2014 Caroline Landon (University of Pennsylvania)
- 2013 Ryan Bynum (Auburn University, AL)
- 2012 Ellen Zhou (Princeton University, NJ)
- 2011 Cody Westphal (Texas Christian University)
- 2010 Elizabeth Conger (North Western University)
- 2009 Lena Silva (Rice University, Texas)
- 2008 Erin Ellis (University of Notre Dame)
- 2007 Veronica Arnold (Texas A&M University at Galveston, Texas)
- 2006 Trudy Taylor (Pepperdine University, CA
- 2005 Jennifer Robicheaux (Trinity University, Texas)
- 2004 Michael Giordano (University of Houston, Texas)
- 2003 Olivia Bartlett (Rice University, Texas)
- 2002 Rachel Kyle (Rice University, Texas)
- 2001 Tiffany Eppelheimer (Georgetown University, DC)
- 2000 Jared Bourgeois (Brigham Young University, UT)
- 1999 Laura Byrne (Wheaton College, IL)
- 1998 Kathryn Klima (Duke University, NC)
The Laura Recovery Center proudly announces that Friendswood High School graduate Caroline (Carey) Landon is the 17th recipient of the Laura Smither Scholarship. This annual $3,000 scholarship honors the memory of Laura Kate Smither, who was abducted and murdered in Friendswood, April 3, 1997. Laura's parents, Bob and Gay Smither, are so proud of all past scholarship recipients and the many accomplishments they have made in their lives. The Smithers have no doubt that Caroline will represent the scholarship and the memory of Laura well.
Caroline is a Friendswood High School Senior, graduating 5th in her class this year. She has excelled in many areas during her high school years and is a member of the National Honor Society since 2012 and a National Merit Finalist this year. She has many science accolades, a stellar academic record and has also given a great deal back to our community through volunteerism.. She has served on the FHS student council, including as President since 2013. Her work experience includes research for the University of Houston and organizing and mentoring girls at the engineering GRADE Camp.
Caroline has been accepted into the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She will also be taking classes in the Wharton School of Business. This interdisciplinary approach to her education is exactly what Caroline was looking for – as she has a vision of solving one of the vexing problems of green energy, that of energy storage, by incorporating Landon Energy Storage, her own business. Caroline has been a successful competitor in area Science Fairs throughout her high school career, with several projects based on her interest in energy storage.
Caroline has contributed directly to her community while maintaining an excellent academic record. As an example of her community volunteerism she conceived of and created the Book Buddies program – a program with 25 volunteers from area schools which collects and records children's literature for distribution though Head Start, Woman's Shelters, and the County Library.
The Laura Recovery Center and the Laura Smither Scholarship Committee wish Caroline Landon every success in her college years and beyond. God Speed Caroline!
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You can create a missing child flyer by clicking the CREATE FLYER link above.
If you believe that a ground search is needed for your child, please call KlaasKids Search Center at 1-850-525-4807.