Schenecker fund gaining momentum, money
NEW TAMPA - Although no final tally was available, cash is flowing into a fund established in memory of two Tampa Palms North siblings slain by their mother, a family representative said. "The Calyx and Beau Schenecker Memorial Fund is gaining momentum," family spokeswoman Lisa Eichhorn said in a statement. Calyx, 16, and her brother, Beau, 13, were fatally shot in January by their mother, Julie Schenecker, who remains in the Hillsborough County jail awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges. The state intends to seek the death penalty against Julie Schenecker, whose attorneys say they will use an insanity defense. Eichhorn attributed the fund's progress mostly to a fundraising drive area GrillSmith restaurants spearheaded this past summer. The weeklong campaign racked in $10,500 for the fund, GrillSmith restaurant spokeswoman Alisha dos Santos said.In August, the GrillSmith restaurant at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel hosted Parker Schenecker, the father of the slain teens, along with his mother, Nancy Schenecker, and some of Calyx and Beau's friends and teachers for dinner to kick off the fundraiser. All six GrillSmith locations in the Tampa Bay area donated 100 percent of the sales of Calyx and Beau's two favorite dishes to support the memorial fund. Calyx's favorite GrillSmith entrée was the Caribbean Pumpkin Crab Bisque soup, and Beau loved the spicy Thai shrimp appetizer. "We were certainly humbled when Mr. Schenecker approached us to help honor Calyx and Beau's memory and shared with us that they were such huge fans of GrillSmith," GrillSmith president Billy Grimm said. "By celebrating their lives during the Back to School Week event at all GrillSmith locations, we aimed to raise awareness about this memorial fund as well as shine a light on two amazing kids who were taken too soon." This month students at Liberty Middle, the school Beau attended, launched a fundraising effort. All proceeds from the project, led by members of the school's Future Business Leaders of America and the National Junior Honor Society, will benefit the memorial fund. Parker Schenecker established the fund in Calyx and Beau's memory through the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. His goal is to give back to the community by offering financial support to leadership and educational opportunities for Bay area teens, Eichhorn said. Earlier this year, the fund supported the student-led Relay for Life at King High School with a $5,000 donation. Parker Schenecker and others helping to shepherd the memorial fund are involved in ongoing talks with Hillsborough County School Board members and Hillsborough Community College officials to identify initiatives to perpetuate Calyx and Beau's legacy, Eichhorn said. Calyx was a cross country runner at King High, where she was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program. Beau, a soccer player, would have been a freshman at Freedom High this school year.
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