Commemorating Lara Sobel – We Are Lara Sobel Strong
On August 7, 2015, the Department for Children and Families (DCF) lost a treasured colleague as she left work for the day. Lara Sobel — DCF Family Services Division social worker, mother, wife, daughter and community member — was dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives. She is remembered as a woman who listened to her coworkers and the families she worked with. She shared her love of gardening with everyone around her, often bringing fresh vegetables to the office. She reminded everyone that taking care of oneself is one of the best ways to take care of the families we serve. She was a mentor and an inspiration and is dearly missed.
On August 5, 2016, DCF, the Agency of Human Services (AHS) and the Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) co-hosted a memorial event at the Pavilion in Montpelier. Attendees were welcomed by Karen Vastine, Senior Advisor to the DCF Commissioner, and Gretchen Naylor of the VSEA. Speakers included DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz, AHS Secretary Hal Cohen, DCF Barre Family Services staff, Rabbi Shana Margolin, Pastor Carl Hilton VanOsdall and Reverend Earl Kooperkamp. Other commemorative events took place at districts offices across the state.
Lara was remembered with appreciation, tears, and the color purple – Lara’s favorite color. Most attendees wore purple, “Lara Sobel Strong” purple wrist bands were available and purple pinwheels were put up outside.
We are forever grateful for Lara’s service to Vermont children and families. We are all stronger for having known her.