It has been less than two years since Lauren Spierer went missing, but to friend Rebecca Gordon, "It feels like forever."
Time has crawled for Spierer's friends, family and neighbors in Greenburgh since the Edgemont High School graduate and Indiana University student went missing on June 3, 2011, in Bloomington, Ind.
But Spierer's friends said they realize time goes on for others, and people forget. To help keep Spierer's memory alive -- and keep people looking out for her -- they organized an event they dubbed "Keep Hope Alive" at Edgemont High School on Tuesday afternoon. Some 200 students and neighbors attended the fundraiser.
"No matter how many years, whether it's two, three or 25, we don't want to forget," said Gordon, who said she knew Spierer since both girls were in first grade. "All we know for sure is that Lauren was out with a bunch of friends who clearly did not have her best interests in mind, which is really upsetting coming from a community like Edgemont, where friends, families and neighbors really do look out for each other in the best and worst of times."
Spierer's parents, Robert and Charlene, maintain a website -- www.findlauren.com -- with information on their missing daughter, and they have publicly criticized Lauren's college friends, who obtained lawyers early in the investigation and have not cooperated with police. Those friends were among the last people known to have seen Spierer the night she went missing.
In January, the Spierer family marked Lauren's 22nd birthday with a message on its website, reiterating the family's desire for closure. No remains have been found, and police have not made any arrests in the case.
By staging a fashion show and hosting singer-songwriter Andy Grammar, the organizers of Tuesday's event said they hope to raise enough money to help keep Spierer's memory alive and to book campus safety speakers for their school, organizer Julia Haber said.
"It's so important that everybody is continuously looking for her," said Haber, a junior at Edgemont High School.
The turnout Tuesday is proof that the local community hasn't forgotten Spierer and the anguish of her parents, said Rachel Zuckerman, an Edgemont High sophomore.
"It's really incredible, the amount of love and support going to this cause," Zuckerman said. "People really do care."