Recently my family went to New York, into the Allegany State Park for a geocaching event. The ASP is very close to Salamanca, New York. We are from Pennsylvania so really it is almost over the line.

When we came out of the woods for a donut, we saw on our gps there was another geocache to find in town. so we decided to check it out. We dead ended into an Amazingly Beautiful farm property. We first thought thecache was there but realized half way up the gorgeous drive we had gone to far.
Right outside the gate was a walking path and it was so beautiful out after having rained all day the day before. We hadnt walked very far when we started to notice light blue ribbons tied around trees going down the path. I thought maybe they were planning to cut them for timber. Then we came across a large wooden cross.

As fate would have it the light filtering through the leaves and trees in the spot where this cross sits makes the entire scene magical and enchanting. Purple flowers adorn the cross. I had an immediate feeling come over me that this was something more than just a memorial. Part of me really thought it must be there for a child. On closer look I saw that what was glittering from the trees were pennies, there were pennies at the base of the cross, garland made of pennies and then I saw a little marker that said Penny Brown.

Angels holding babies were at the base and a beautiful cement bench.

The family went on to find the geocache and I stayed back to take it all in and make some photographs of the spot. I was so touched by it and had such a feeling come over me that I needed to know who this was for.

Technology today made that easy for me to start gathering information, even though we were technically on a Indian Reservation. The Seneca Nation with beautiful mountains all around, there is also a state of the art casino a black away and CELL PHONE service with WiFi.
Penny Brown, Salamanca I googled and immediately answers came and so did the reason why this memorial brought on so many real emotions.
On Mother’s Day in May of 1999, Penny a nurse and midwife and active citizen of her community was attacked while jogging with her dog and strangled, raped and murdered.
The criminal, 15 year old, Edward Kindt. If his birthday had been 2 months earlier, he would have had at least an additional 16 years to serve before being eligible for parole.

Because her family, friends and community, including elected officials were outraged by the lack of punishment, Penny’s Law was written into legislation. It changes the lives for juvenile offenders from 5-9 years to life to a more justice serving sentence of 15-25 years to life.The people of her hometown have made other changes too, by reclaiming the jogging area where Penny lost her life and making it a beautiful place for people to walk, jog and stay active. Remember Penny Brown’s life, her family and the sad tragedy that led to her death. If you are visiting Salamanca, visit the memorial and leave a PENNY for Penny to let her family know she is not forgotten.

One Comment

  • Libby

    What a moving and incredible tribute to an incredible woman!! She will never be forgotten!! Thank you for taking the time to write this, photograph this and pay tribute to a woman who touched soo many lives both in her life and her death!!

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