Alice Hawthorne had heard how beautiful the Atlanta Olympics were from her sister, who was working at the Games. So she and her daughter, who just turned 14, packed up and went.
Early Saturday, the 44-year-old woman was killed when a bomb exploded during a concert in downtown Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.
"She was a sweet, outgoing person. She would help anyone," said a teary Alberta Wallace, Hawthorne's neighbor and best friend. "I'm still in shock."
Hawthorne worked as a receptionist for a cable television company. She also owned a hot dog stand that was managed by others. Hawthorne's daughter, who celebrated her 14th birthday Wednesday, had deep wounds in an arm and a leg, and was in stable condition after surgery. But she apparently didn't know immediately about her mother's death.
"I don't believe she's awake enough for her family to tell her," said Ralph McDaniel, manager of the hospital's emergency room.
The hospital did not release the teenager's name.