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Community mourns death of LOHS student

by: VERN UYETAKE LOHS senior Ariel Tamblyn, above,  writes a message on the memorial set up at the high school.

The Lake Oswego High School community lost one of its own on Thanksgiving morning. Allison Cohen, a senior at the school, died from cardiac arrest caused by a brain seizure she experienced Tuesday afternoon.

A memorial service was held Nov. 27 with more than 1,000 people in attendance.

The family continues to observe the Jewish custom of 'sitting Shiva' at their Lake Oswego home. They welcome friends and family to mourn with them and share stories of Allison between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. On Friday calling hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

'Allison was heavily involved in musical theater productions at her high school,' said family friend Tina Beltrone. 'Theater was very special to her. She was recently in the school's musical production of 'Grease.' Her beautiful smile lit up the stage.'

Fellow classmates have posted messages in front of the school auditorium as a means of expressing their grief over the young woman's death.

'Our administrative team met with members of our counseling staff and student leaders this morning to develop a support system for our students and staff when school resumes tomorrow,' said principal Bruce Plato in an email message sent Sunday evening to LOHS parents. 'There will be a place in the main hall for students to sign and leave cards. Counselors will also be available throughout the next several days on our auditorium stage and in their offices for students who would like to get together and share memories of Allison.'

To honor Cohen's life, her love of her faith as well as her passion for working with children, a fund has been established in her name for the Temple Beth Israel Religious School. Donations may be mailed to 1972 N.W. Flanders St., Portland, OR, 97209. Another thoughtful option for a remembrance would be to purchase a brick at LOHS.

Plato urged parents to contact a school counselor if they were concerned about the effect the tragedy had on their student.

'I know the Cohen family greatly appreciates the outpouring of love and support our community has demonstrated during this very difficult time,' Plato said.