- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 3, 2002

Friends and relatives of last month's sniper victims are memorializing their loved ones with fund-raising activities for helping surviving family members, educating their children and fighting breast cancer, among other causes.
Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church has begun a fund for the college education of the children of Prem Kumar Walekar, who was killed Oct. 3. "Higher education was Mr. Walekar's dream. We want to honor that and help the family," said Associate Pastor Rebecca Brillhart.
Donations to the Walekar Trust Fund can be mailed to Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7700 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, Md. 20912.
Money donated for the 13-year-old Bowie boy recuperating from the Oct. 7 shooting outside Benjamin Tasker Middle School will help his long-term health needs, said Beverly Wilbourn, the family's attorney who helped establish the fund.
"We don't know what his long-term prognosis will be. There will be some psychological issues. The family is really just trying to get him over this hump," she said.
Donations to the "He's a Fighter Fund" can be mailed to Riggs Bank, PO Box 96758, Washington, D.C. 20090-0560.
The widower of Linda Franklin set up a fund as a memorial to his wife, who was killed Oct. 14 at a home improvement store in Falls Church, said David Wray, a former colleague of Mrs. Franklin's. "Money will be divided between organizations that are battling breast cancer and those that support victims of violent crimes," he said.
Contributions to the Linda G. Franklin Memorial Fund can be sent to Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, 1500 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, Va. 22207.
The first victim fund established was the Ken Bridges Memorial Fund, which is intended to benefit the widow and six children of the Philadelphia man who was killed Oct. 11 at a Fredericksburg gas station, family friend Gary Shepherd said.
Donations to the Bridges fund can be sent to Milligan & Co. CPAs, 105 N. 22nd St., Second Floor, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.
James L. "Sonny" Buchanan, who was killed Oct. 3, mentored children, and the fund in his name will provide college scholarships and mentoring programs, said Chuck Thomas, who was a roommate of Mr. Buchanan's at the University of Maryland.
"Donations are trickling in from all over the country. It's amazing how much the impact is felt elsewhere," Mr. Thomas said. "I think that he'd be proud to know that somebody in his death is trying to accomplish what he tried to do in his life."
Contributions to the Buchanan fund can be mailed to Sonny's Kids Foundation, PO Box 10666, Rockville, Md. 20849.
Meanwhile, public and private institutions are receiving funds to help the victims' families.
Montgomery County officials, who offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of suspects in the sniper case, have said excess money in the reward fund will go to the families of the victims.
"We're putting the finishing touches on how we're going to distribute this money," said Montgomery County spokesman David Weaver, who would not disclose how much is in the fund.
And the Rockville-based Victims' Rights Foundation aspires to raise $260,000 by Thanksgiving, said Jennifer MacLeid, a spokeswoman for Young & Associates, a public relations firm volunteering its help.
"We will be disbursing money at the holidays," she said, noting that the families will need help with mortgages and groceries.
Donations to the Victims' Rights Foundation can be sent to Sniper Victims' Fund, 814 W. Diamond Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, Md. 20878.

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