THERE IS HOPE
IN EVERY TRAGEDY.
In 1999, we responded to our mass tragedy. Regarded as one of the worst mass killings in our nation’s recent history —The Columbine High School massacre which was a school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.
Our goal was to honor the victims and extend compassion and emotional support to help facilitate the grieving process for families, a community, and nation.
AN UNFORGETTABLE COMMUNITY RESPONSE?
Communities and families are the heart of our country. When families heal; communities heal. Zanis Crosses For Losses is committed to helping when tragedy strikes a community by providing individual crosses to honor the victims and help with candle light vigils. Working with local volunteers, businesses, agencies, churches and organizations who believe responding quickly helps rebuild stronger communities and helps to overcome hate and violence with LOVE.
In the United States, there are many communities struggling with violent crime and we have even seen acts of terrorism in recent years. When we come together as a community, we help strengthen the will of the people to live in peace without fear and without violence, and we build a stronger bond for working together through LOVE to teach our children how to handle conflict without violence.
"A lasting change in violence is made possible when volunteers, nonprofits, businesses and governments work like a team."
Zanis Crosses For Losses’ works in advance with community leaders and stakeholders forming partnerships that build the foundation for our memorial marches and candle light vigils. Partnership with local governments, organizations, churches and business are crucial to the success of these events.
Volunteers are an important part of all community outreach events. Zanis Crosses For Losses engages with community members in building a volunteer base, establishing a customized plan for the community, and carrying out the event. At many community outreaches, thousands of volunteers participate.
Thousands attend to honor and bring attention to the individuals who have been murdered in the community. The heart and soul of every one of our Community Events is LOVE and compassion for the grieving. Many Guests of Honor are people who are working to end violence and teach peaceful resolution to conflict.
The motivation for behind Zanis Crosses for Losses is simple.
When asked, Mr. Zanis simply says, “We need to show that we love one another,”
It was a personal tragedy that set Zanis on his cross-building mission. He was a luxury custom home builder until his father-in-law, Ralph K. Stadler, 71, was shot and killed in his office on the 600 block of Jungles Avenue in Aurora during an armed robbery in 1996.
A few months later, 6-year old Nico Contreras, of Aurora, was fatally shot in a gang-related shooting while sleeping at his grandparents’ home. Nico’s mother asked Zanis to build a memorial cross for her son, and at that moment he found his purpose in life, he said.
Zanis has traveled the country since then placing thousands of markers at the sites of murders and tragedies.