The daughter of a GREAT WHITE fan who perished in the in Rhode Island nightclub fire helped others working on a Station fire memorial garden for the 12th annual Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show, which opens today in the Rhode Island Convention Center exhibit space, according to The Providence Journal.
Kayla Ayer will greet visitors today, Saturday and Sunday in the garden — called "In the Arms of Angels" — near the granite "book" inscribed with the names of the 100 victims, including her monther, Tina Marie Ayer.
Volunteers from the group's 400 members have planted 100 white tulips (each bears the name of a victim); 100 bleeding hearts, 2 white dogwoods, rosemary, and roses. An angel spreads its wings above a reflecting pool.
Materials were donated by 20 local nurseries, landscape companies and other retailers. A company from Athens, Ga., provided the granite marker.
Donations collected at the garden will go to The Station Family Fund, which provides financial assistance for survivors and victims' relatives.
Tina Ayer was a 33-year-old twin, with curly black hair streaked with blond highlights, and brown eyes.
Her preference ran to jeans, leather jackets and work boots. She wore gold rings on every finger, gold crosses and pendants around her neck, and gold hoops that rimmed each ear. "She was a biker chick," says Ayer.
Tina Ayer loved rock 'n roll and metal, and loved to sing. Hours before the GREAT WHITE concert — during which the fire started — Tina Ayer met bandleader Jack Russell at the Fairfield Inn in Warwick, where she worked as a housekeeper. He included her and her best friend, Jackie Bernard — also a housekeeper at the inn -- on his guest list.
In the dramatic Channel 12 video, Tina Ayer can be seen near the stage, before dense toxic smoke rolled over a panicking crowd.
"I've seen the tape. She was right in the front row," said Kayla. "I saw her turn around . . . she was one of the first people to start heading out" as the fire began to spread.
A previously published report quoted Bernard as saying that she had been clutching Tina Ayer's coat, trying to drag her along, but then the flames intensified and Tina Ayer was lost.
"When I first learned that my mother was dead I just dropped to the floor," says Kayla. "The first day I found out, I flipped out, I really did. But in a month, I handled things myself. I just made myself stronger." Read more.