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The Laura Recovery Center could use your help

The Laura Recovery Center in Friendswood is going through tough times.

A decline in contributions has left the center with funding for 90 days, directors say.

“We’ve been very blessed with the support of the community,” said founder Bob Smither, 66. “I think everybody is retrenching a little in this economy.”

Smither and his wife, Gay, established the center a year after their daughter, Laura Smither, 12, was abducted on April 3, 1977 while she was jogging near their Friendswood home. Her body was recovered nearly three weeks later, but the person who abducted and killed her has not been identified.

Smither said the center has helped 1,500 families search for missing loved ones, and was involved in efforts to find Elizabeth Smart in Utah as well as search for Chelsea King, 17, who was abducted near San Diego this year.

“When your child is missing, it’s a nightmare,“ Smither said. “We provide a lot of help to families in that situation, simply because of the experience we’ve had. Families doesn’t know how to deal with the media or with law enforcement.“

Bob Walcutt, the center’s executive director, said the nonprofit’s last major fundraiser was canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

My in-laws have been supporters of the LCRF for a long time; it was through my mother-in-law that I got to meet and interview Bob Smither when he ran for Congress as a Libertarian back in 2006. The LCRF does a lot of good work, and it would be tragic if the current economic climate forced their closure. If you want to help, you can make a tax deductible contribution here, or send a check payable to Laura Recovery Center, 906 Anna Lane, Friendswood, Texas, 77546. Thanks very much.

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