Archive of Laura Pitchford

Laura has written 3 article(s) for InMenlo.


participants at second annual Michele Daschbach Memorial Swim

The Second Annual Michele Daschbach Fast Memorial Swim was held on Saturday, August 10th. Two Olympic gold medalists were among the 106 swimmers and paddlers who took part in the tribute to Michele Daschbach Fast who died October 12, 2011 in the Salon Meritage shootings in Seal Beach, California.

The swim, organized by Michele’s older brother, Rooney Daschbach, is a three-mile open water swim from the beach in front of Rooney’s house in Sunset Beach, which is adjacent to the Seal Beach Pier and not far from the incident. The event is free to participants, but Rooney asked that anyone interested make a donation to Michele’s favorite charity, Smile Train.

In a touching act of support, the USA Junior National Women’s Water Polo team, coached by UC Irvine head coach, Dan Klatt, carried Michele’s spirit with them as they swam the distance with three water polo balls with “Michele Daschbach Fast” written in bold letters (photo top).

Michele siblings

Other participants included swimmers from Michele’s daily morning swim group as well as her husband Patrick and their three children.

Family and friends returned for a festive lunch and celebration at Rooney and his wife Claire’s house in Sunset Beach.

The number of participants for this Second Annual swim was almost double the 59 participants from last year, and the Daschbach families hope the growth continues. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful tribute to an amazing women who touched so many.

Editor’s note: Michele Daschbach Fast grew up in Atherton and attended St. Raymond School and Sacred Heart Prep. Laura Pitchford, author/photographer of this post, is Michele’s sister.

Michele children and cousins

Photos by Laura Pitchford; middle photo is of Michele’s siblings, left to right, Rooney Daschbach of Sunset Beach, LeeLee Cusenza of Pleasanton, Lisa Fuerst, Laura Pitchford and Mark Daschbach (all Atherton residents); bottom photo shows Michele’s children and some of their cousins

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Remembering downtown Menlo Park “back in the day”

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Recently, I was lying awake in the middle of the night trying to remember the name of the record store in downtown Menlo Park I went to with my younger sister Shell to buy Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (the 1978 movie version featuring The BeeGees and Peter Frampton). I could remember the day like […]

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Michele Daschbach Fast remembered in open water swim organized by family members

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On a fateful day in October 2011, Rooney Daschbach got a frantic call from his mom, Atherton resident Leonore Daschbach. She asked him to drive a mile north from his Southern California home in Sunset Beach to Seal Beach where a shooting had taken place at a local hair salon. Leonore told him that his youngest […]

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