Lafayette Strong… in the Wake of Tragedy

Today’s scheduled blog post about a little FASHION STAR in Singapore has been put on hold for a couple of weeks so I thought what perfect opportunity to write about something dear to my heart, something very close to home, something right here in my hometown, Lafayette, Louisiana. Cajun Country. Acadiana.

When Stacy and I started Paper Plane Lane we knew that we wanted to let the world know where we were from. We wanted everyone to know about this wonderful place. The ridiculously good food, the funky music, the fun festivals and more importantly the unique people. If you ever received a package or email from myself, you already know that I sign off with “Much love from Louisiana, ”  Why? One. Because I am proud to be a Louisianian, even better, a Cajun from Acadiana. Two. Because I do LOVE you.

LOVE. I am sure by now if you are reading this blog, you are quite aware of the mass shooting that took place in Lafayette, Louisiana during a showing of Train Wreck on Thursday, July 23, 2015. IMMEDIATELY our community came together and showed massive amounts of LOVE. Not hate. Not blame. LOVE.

Love from TEXAS

The article above from the NY Daily News talked of a Lafayette hospital receiving a pay-it-forward delivery of pizzas from a Texas hospital, Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, a hospital that treated victims of another mass shooting earlier this year.

Love from Inside

One survivor, Emily Mann, talked about the strange since of calm after the 1st shot was fired. “There was no pushing each other. People were pulling each other out instead of trying to scramble on top of one another.” “There was an immediate understanding that every single person in that room was going through the same thing and that we all needed to get out.”  Mann was assisted by a woman who helped pull her to safety around a corner.

Love through Vigils

There were reports of many vigils going on throughout the town. Local churches,  ULL , in front of the federal court house downtown. Everyone gathered together to remember the victims, Jillian Johnson, 33, and Mayci Breaux, 21.

Love throughout ACADIANA

Seen below, Darren Benoit, a guy I grew up with and a local pastor, is praying for the victims in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Lafayette.

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Local businesses are coming together to show their support, blasting #Lafayettestrong on their billboards:

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A local print shop, Pixus has printed out yard signs to help victims families in their time of need.

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Graphics were being created to emphasize the LOVE in our community:

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And profile pictures were being changed to support the LOVE:

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Social media was flooded with status updates supporting their community:

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Local news stations reported love from our neighboring communities:

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Celebrities showed their support:

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Ted Nugent, made an appearance at the Grand Theater during this time of tragedy. 

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Amy Schumer tweets about shooting, offering her thoughts and prayers to Louisiana. 

And sadly, two lives were lost, but will forever have an impact on our community:

Jillian Johnson, 33, a local artist, musician, designer, shop owner and business woman. She was the founder of Parish Ink, a local print shop that focuses on our Louisiana roots, she co-owned with her husband, Jason, Red Arrow Workshop, a local shop in downtown Lafayette and more recently on Magazine St in NOLA. She has been a producer for KRVS, a local radio station that is licensed to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She also was the lead singer in a local band, The Figs.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Jason in their NOLA location months back. He offered to give us advice if we ever decided to open a store front, and spoke highly of his wife. Stacy and her husband, Matt, knew of both Jillian and Jason. I, along with the entire ACADIANA community, express our deepest condolences to Jason and their entire family, friends included, in such a dark time. Jason was also shot in the theater.

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Mayci Breaux, 21. A young, beautiful and vibrant lady. Pictured here with her high school sweetheart, Matt Rodriguez, who was also shot during the shooting. They had plans to marry and have children.

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She worked for another local boutique, Coco Eros, was one semester into a 3 year radiology program at  Lafayette General Hospital. She was someone the younger generation looked up to and had big plans for her future.

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Myself and the entire family at @paperplanelaneboutique want to offer up prayers to both victims’ families.

FOREVER #lafayettestrong,

Brandi

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