Foundation honors Sylvie Cachay's life, work and spirit

Family and friends create foundation to prevent domestic violence, provides scholarships to fashion designers and raises money for stray animals


It is too late to save Sylvie's life, but her family is dedicated to keeping her memory alive. They have set up a foundation, The Sylvie Cachay Memorial Project.

Her cousin, Lavinia Panizo, has stepped in as director of its violence against women initiative.

"Our hope is to bring awareness to -- to women, to girls, about what to keep an eye out for -- what behavior is unacceptable? Where to go, how to put an end to things," Panizo explained.

Another branch will provide scholarships to fashion design students at Sylvie's alma mater, Marymount University in Arlington, Va.

"Now that she's not here, you know, the least we can do is try to continue what it was that she wanted done in a way that's gonna help others," Sylvie's cousin, Francoise Jakobsson explained. "And this is the very least that we can do."

Sylvie's family and friends plan to raise money, in part, by relaunching Sylvie's line of swimwear.

"This was everything she did. this is what she loved," Jakobsson said. "This was her bedroom where she grew up and now this is the staging for us to be able to see what exactly is left of Syla, which is so much."


Sylvie's close friend and fellow designer Alicia Bell has chosen a blouse from her line, Bell, and named it after Sylvie."This piece is on our website and this is the Sylvie blouse," Bell showed "48 Hours" correspondent Troy Roberts. "A percentage of sales from this blouse goes to Sylvie's charity."

Lesa Wright McHale, Sylvie's former publicist says so many of Sylvie's friends have reached out to help.

"...everybody bringing their specific skill sets and talents and passions and loves together to -- you know, sort of support and fund the things that she was most passionate about," McHale explained.

Sylvie's love of animals inspired the Conedogs project, spearheaded by Sylvie's former fiance, photographer Ben Baker.

"We would always walk around the streets and find it hilarious, these dogs in cones. And we always thought ... it would make a great photo project and possibly a great book project. And that's one thing we working on," Baker explained.


"The proceeds of that project is gonna go to animals who have been abused ... in her honor of how she would care for sick animals or stray animals."She would not want us ... to just be sad and sit around with long faces. You know, so this is a way of honoring her life and spirit," said McHale.

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