PORTSMOUTH — Area community members are invited out to a special event where attendees can speak out about whatever feelings they are harboring or tragedy is important to them.
Kadie Lancaster, best friend and sister-in-law to Megan Lancaster, who recently appeared on Spike TV’s “Gone: the Forgotten Women of Ohio,” is inviting the community out to a Stand For Change event. Kadie Lancaster’s plight may be for the 25-year-old mother who went missing from Scioto County in April 2013, but through her loss, she has connected with others who have experienced tragedy and hardship. Through this event, she aims to help all make their voices heard.
“It’s not just about Megan,” she explained. “It’s about anything on people’s hearts, anything people want to see changed.”
Kadie Lancaster explained that there will be people there talking about murder, crime, addiction and various other concerns. And, the event will take place during regular business hours at the Scioto County Common Pleas Courthouse, where public officials can hear the voices of those uniting at the courthouse.
During the event, Kadie Lancaster will also be collecting donated items for a street outreach effort. She explained that she collects hygiene items and other needs and takes them out to women on the streets impacted by prostitution and drug addiction. According to Kadie Lancaster, Megan Lancaster had been using drugs since she was in her mid-teens and was working as a prostitute within just a couple years. In order to prevent other women from suffering in ways that Megan Lancaster did, Kadie Lancaster provides this street outreach with cards that include contact information for the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.
Those interested can purchase personalized event T-shirts. Lancaster explained that all shirts will say “Stand for Change,” but there will then be space for a personalized message or photo. For example, she explained that if someone wanted to attend to speak out for justice in the unsolved murders of Candy and Kristina “Mykal” Newsome, they could use the space for photos of the Newsomes. Candy Newsome, 48, and her 16-year-old daughter Mykal Newsome were shot and killed on Jan. 4, 2016, in their Blue Run home in Lucasville.
The Stand for Change event is being held in coordination with Megan Lancaster’s 30th birthday.
“What a better way to spend Megan’s birthday than doing something she would want done,” Kadie Lancaster stated.
The event will end by relocating to Tracy Park for a birthday celebration with cake, balloons, a balloon release and a candle light vigil.
Kadie Lancaster explained that there will be plenty of cake thanks to generous contributions from people in the community. She has also had balloons and candles donated.
“People have been so generous to come forward and want to donate,” she stated. “I just can’t believe it.”
Kadie Lancaster has held similar events in the past, including a human trafficking awareness event, which she hopes to be able to offer again soon.
“I plan on putting another one together because it’s obviously a huge need in Scioto County,” she commented. “Our goal is to start Megan’s Way, a nonprofit for women and children.”
Kadie Lancaster explained that Megan’s Way would help human trafficking and rescues on the women’s side and focus on assisting kids by funding athletics.
“Megan loved sports and was a woman that needed help,” Kadie Lancaster explained.
She added that Megan Lancaster played softball in high school and had a scholarship to play softball for Shawnee State University before getting pregnant with her son and losing her scholarship.
The peaceful demonstration portion of the day will begin at noon on Oct. 24 at the Scioto County Common Pleas Courthouse, located at 602 7th St., in Portsmouth. People are encouraged to bring their own signs. The demonstration will continue until the courthouse closes when there will be a break. The event will resume for the birthday balloon release and vigil at 6 p.m. at Tracy Park in Portsmouth. For event T-shirts, call MP Printing at (740) 456-2045. For more information, visit the Stand for Change event on Facebook or the Finding Megan Lancaster 2013 page on Facebook.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.