Taylor’s Sunset Memorial


Lizzy Breen

People from across Tampa came in support of Taylor Koulouris and her family, sunflowers in hand. Her newly started foundation has brought contributions from all sources.

Lizzy Breen, Staffer

On Dec. 13, 2021, Plant student Taylor Koulouris passed away after multiple days in the hospital following a fatal motorcycle crash. Then junior Benjamin Francis passed upon collision, but Koulouris was rushed to Tampa General Hospital immediately after the crash to receive treatment. Since her passing, Koulouris’ parents Alexa and Ryan Parker, have started the Taylor Koulouris Foundation “to carry on her ability of showing kindness, doing good, and giving back by cultivating opportunities for kids to inspire one another to grow big and stand tall together.” On Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, her family continued the tradition of throwing sunflowers into Tampa Bay at sunset and invited any friends or close ones to Koulouris to celebrate her life. But why sunflowers? 

“Taylor loved sunflowers because of their radiance, beauty, and strength, which represents Taylor’s life and how she influenced others. It was emotional to watch the sunflowers light up the water and slowly drift away as the sun set,” says senior Caitlyn McMullen. 

McMullen attended the memorial service this past Tuesday and felt Tampa’s neighborly support for the foundation and Koulouris and her legacy. Many sported T-shirts created by the company Wee Macree, who recently made a shirt reading “Wee are kind.” Inspired by Koulouris’ life and passions, proceeds of the shirts benefit the newly created Taylor Koulouris Foundation to help raise awareness for their goals. 

“All of Taylors loved ones miss her so much, and it was amazing to see the community come together to honor her and reminisce about her life and her influence on others,” McMullen adds.  

Koulouris frequently worked with Tampa Kids Therapy, a business focused on “helping all children reach their potential,” which was a driving force behind the creation of the Taylor Koulouris foundation.  

“The foundation in Taylor’s memory will spread joy throughout Tampa. The goal is to mirror Taylor’s kindness and pay it forward to everyone in the community,” says sophomore Janelle Stephens.  

Many students and parents in the Plant community are excited about the impact this foundation could have on organizations like Tampa Kids Therapy and Wee Macree. Friends and loved ones of Koulouris have taken every opportunity to spread the mission and goals of her foundation and will continue to do so for years to come.