Those who knew Dayton, Ohio shooting victim Megan Betts say she could light up any room she walked into and make everyone in it feel like family.
“From the start, I knew Megan had a good heart,” her friend Sarah Coffee told CNN. “She was good to her roots, and I don’t think she could have watched someone suffer and not done anything.”
Coffee was a sophomore when she met Megan, then a junior, in Bellbrook High School’s band. Coffee was a clarinet player and she says Megan was a talented trumpet player.
During her sophomore year, Coffee says she was going through difficult time with anxiety and depression issues. Megan was one of the first people to run to her side and help.
“At one point I was at rock bottom,” she says. “Megan was one of the few people to help convince me to get help.”
Megan didn’t just push her to get help, Coffee says – she helped her see that she was wanted and loved.
And Megan continued to help her the moment Coffee came back from treatment. She welcomed Coffee back with open arms.
Other band members also remembered her as a caring, loving person.
When it was someone’s birthday, Coffee says she would draw pictures for her friends. Her friends were made to feel like family.
“For me marching band was a place to escape and feel safe,” her friend Tori Schrodi says. “Megan was a huge part of that.”
She met Megan during her sophomore year, too; they both played the trumpet in the marching band.
Megan made Schrodi feel like she had a family at school, she said, and it became a place where Schrodi felt she truly belonged.
Before every marching band competition, Megan would help lead the trumpet section tradition – the “Bad Ass Brass” cheer.
“B-A-D-A-S-S-B-R-A-S-S BAD ASS BRASS BAD ASS BRASS,” Scrodi remembers the cheer going.
Even though Megan wasn’t in the clarinet section, Coffee said the clarinets still invited her to join in on their pre-competition good luck tradition: pinky promises as a way of saying good luck. Usually, she said, marching band pre-competition rituals are only for section members, except for people beloved by the section.
Her artistic talents didn’t just stop at drawing and playing the trumpet. Schrodi says Megan was a talented member of the school’s drama program.
She was known for her funny faces, something Schrodi and Coffee both remember fondly. Megan was always laughing, they recalled.
“Megan had a personality that was bigger than life,” Schrodi says. “She could light up any room she walked into.”
That’s how her friends want her to be remembered: as a beloved friend, band member and classmate.
“I want people to know that Megan was a person with a golden, kind heart,” Coffee says. “She was someone who made the world better, happier.”