Tara's Story

Tara Sawyer is a vibrant Christian spirit that was in this world for 10 years until she went home to be with our Lord. While she was with us she was a good friend, a great athlete, a loving daughter and an awesome sister.

It was in 2002 that Tara contracted Amebic Meningoencephalitis after swimming with friends and family in a Texas lake. Many reporters have told the story of how she left this world and the journey her family took during that time. Her brother Preston has even shared his personal story in writing. But here, you will find the rest of Tara’s story.

Tara’s powerful and energetic spirit is alive and well in the lives she touched, the work done in her name and the love given to those in this world she cared about.

One of Tara’s favorite scripture passages was from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where he wrote “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). It is in that knowledge that Tara was unstoppable. She was the only girl on a select baseball team that made it to the USSSA World Series, the sweet girl who asked a friend every week to go with her to church, the precious daughter that gave of her love unconditionally. No one that knew her could forget her beautiful smile.

“The thing is, she didn’t see herself as different. She just did what she loved. She was constantly talking about Christ, witnessing and she brought everyone around her to a higher level of character in Christ,” says her mother Gina.

Every year, hundreds of families participate in the Tara Sawyer Classic, a tournament in Tara's memory. The event continues to grow and truly reflects Tara’s three favorite things:  to celebrate a love of the game, to hear the word of Christ, and to enjoy family-friendly fellowship.

The Sawyer family is continually touched by people who share how Tara’s legacy has made a difference in their lives. For example, a coach who asked to wear her number (21), or a Barnabas Award winner who prizes that award above all others.

Our hope is that Tara’s story will continue to grow through the lives and dedication of her brothers, parents, friends and teammates and their dedication to fulfilling the needs of young athletes, children and families in need.


For a very personal view of this story, read Tara's brother, Preston's, open letter.
A Letter From Preston Sawyer

Future Horned Frog Foster Sawyer is the perfect college quarterback recruit; 6-foot-5, clean-cut, God-fearing, and blessed with a rocket arm. But he remains humble and focused, driven by the memory of his sister and best friend, Tara, who died in 2002 after contracting an infection after swimming with friends and family in a lake.