HOBBS, N.M. — The second annual Swing Fore Nine golf tournament was held Saturday in honor of the seven University of the Southwest lives lost and the two that survived.
Families and friends of the victims were in attendance to show support for the fundraiser and compete to remember their loved ones.
Before the morning festivities, NewsWest 9 spoke with Chelsi Stone, the mother of Laci Stone, one of the students that died in the March 15th crash, about her daughter's memory and what the support of the city of Hobbs has meant to her and her family.
Below is a transcription of the full interview.
Jenna Elique: Well Christina, we’re here out in Hobbs, New Mexico at the Rockwind Community Links for a golf tournament in honor of those lost at the University of the Southwest accident almost a year ago. We’re here with Chelsi Stone, mother of Laci who was lost during that accident. Chelsi, obviously this event brings a lot of emotions, but what does it mean for you to see all the people who are out here in support of you and your daughter’s memory?
Chelsi Stone: It’s amazing. She really did love being in Hobbs and the people of Hobbs that have come out and supported us and has been apart of this. It’s been really special to see.
JE: Obviously, you lost your daughter and you have a foundation, “Love Like Laci.” Can you talk about your daughter’s memory and what it means to celebrate her today?
CS: Laci was a lot of fun. She was always singing and dancing and had a lot of friends. Early on, someone started “Love Like Laci” and we kind of ran with that because it describes her. Very lovable. Loved everybody. Loved big. We have used our foundation to celebrate her and keep her memory alive. We’ve been able to give local scholarships in her name.
JE: Back out here on the golf course, does it bring any emotions here?
CS: Yeah, it’s tough. It’s just strange to be in the town of Hobbs without her. I don’t golf. Her and my husband and my son really golf a lot. My husband and her golf out here quite a bit. When we visited Hobbs, this is one of the places she fell in love with. To be out here without her, really brought up a lot of emotion. Obviously, it’s never going to be okay being here without her.
JE: Lastly, what would you like to say to this community of Hobbs and this West Texas/Eastern New Mexico. What do you have to say to them for all their support because it’s been widespread?
CS: It’s been great. Being from native Texan, you know Texans, they’ll take care of their own. But this city of Hobbs and all of New Mexico has been amazing. I feel like they love these kids too. I know the people who run the golf course. They fell in love with them. They saw them every single day. Just everybody’s support. Everybody who wants to do things in memory of our kids. It’s amazing.