On a recent trip to a Hudson, Wisconsin art gallery, Lisa Anderson purchased a piece of floral felt art created by Fiber Artist Robbin Firth. She bought it for its “joyful appearance and appeal” and when she got home she thought of a special place where it could possibly help others: 360 Communities Lewis House. She donated the wall hanging to Lewis House in memory of her daughter, Cheryl, who was murdered in October of 2002 in a robbery attempt.


Cheryl and Aidan

Her daughter volunteered as an advocate for WomanKind, a domestic violence prevention program that was affiliated with Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. According to her mother, Cheryl was inspired to advocate for survivors of domestic abuse in high school when she volunteered at a Lewis House shelter, reading and playing with the children there. Lisa says she was a positive and loving influence on those around
her, including her son, Aidan.

“Cheryl was a free spirit who spent her entire short life focusing on others. She had a joyful way about her and this piece of art symbolizes that to me,” Lisa says, “She was an eternal optimist and believed in the strength and resilience of the human spirit.”

Lisa hopes the artwork will inspire survivors of abuse and not be regarded as something sad because that’s how her daughter would have wanted it. “The artist named it ‘Spring,’” she says, “..and to me that means ‘new beginnings’ which I think is appropriate for the purpose of Lewis House.”

In 2002, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women posthumously recognized Cheryl for her volunteer work with survivors of domestic violence along with four other women. WomanKind has subsequently been folded into the Fairview Social Services department. There is an endowment there in Cheryl’s name that continues to fund the recruitment and training of volunteers to assist survivors of domestic abuse.

“Spring” will hang in the Eagan Lewis House along with a plaque commemorating Cheryl’s life and work helping others escape domestic violence.