Janavaras Memory Will Live On In Neighborhood
MANKATO, Minn. - More than 20 years ago, a bacterial meningitis outbreak struck Mankato, taking the life of a Mankato West high school student. Soon, John Janavaras will be remembered forever.
When the meningitis outbreak hit, people lined up for hours to receive the vaccine. 15-year-old John Janavaras was vaccinated but sadly the virus took his life.
Thanks to the community, a park in the Southview Heights neighborhood will be named in his honor.
"It's just amazing to me that people still care about John Janavaras 20 years, 23 years later. At the time everybody work together to make sure it didn't happen to any more students or people and now we're at a point where we're trying to remember and make sure that this stays alive," Janavaras family friend Mark Frost said.
Community leaders drafted a petition which was passed with overwhelming enthusiasm from residents.
"You look at the leadership of people like Mike Rath and Grant Moody down here in this subdivision and you just say, how much better can this get these people care, Janavaras' live right across the street here and this will be named after their son and I can't imagine being any prouder and I will love to be here when they put that sign up," Frost added.
A date has not been set on when the name unveiling will take place.
--KEYC News 12