Community packs Digger’s for Lawrence family fundraiser

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02/26/2015 9:05 PM |
T-shirt were also on sale to benefit the scholarship.

Tony Lawrence’s former lacrosse players held a fundraiser at Digger’s on Thursday to establish a scholarship in Danielle Lawrence’s memory. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)

Digger’s Ales N’ Eats in Riverhead was packed during a fundraiser Thursday night to establish a scholarship in Danielle Lawrence’s memory.

The 17-year-old and her mother, Tanya, 43, were killed Feb. 15 in their Wading River home by Ms. Lawrence’s boyfriend, Thomas Calhoun, 44, who then committed suicide, according to police.

• See releated story: Hundreds attend funeral of Tanya and Danielle Lawrence

Danielle’s father, Tony, started Riverhead’s lacrosse program and was the team’s first coach. He resigned after eight seasons in 2010.

The team’s former manager, Kelsey Stark, 26, of Riverhead, volunteered to be the guest bartender for the fundraiser. Digger’s provided free snacks during the event and all tips and donations collected between 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday night will benefit the Lawrence Support Fund to establish the memorial scholarship.

“This is amazing,” she said about the event’s turnout. “Everyone has been very generous.”

On Feb. 17, Mr. Lawrence’s former players reconnected on the Riverhead lacrosse alumni Facebook group and launched a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to help their coach with funeral costs. As of 9 p.m. Thursday, $28,875 had been raised.

Kyle Zilnicki, who graduated from Riverhead High School in 2009, said it was important for him to attend the fundraiser because he appreciates how his former coach has always been there for him and his teammates.

“Tony was awesome,” Mr. Zilnicki said. “He was a father to everyone on the team.”

To donate to the Lawrence Support Fund, visit http://www.gofundme.com/mn2ok0.

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From left, Riverhead High School graduates Will Razzano, Kyle Zilonicki and John Razzano at Digger’s Ales N’ Eats on Thursday for a fundraiser to establish a scholarship in Danielle Lawrence’s memory. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)

From left, Riverhead High School graduates Will Razzano, Kyle Zilonicki and John Razzano.

The lacrosse team’s former manager, Kelsey Stark, 26, of Riverhead, volunteered to be the guest bartender for the fundraiser.

The lacrosse team’s former manager, Kelsey Stark, 26, of Riverhead, volunteered to be the guest bartender for the fundraiser.

Family friends of Coach Lawrence (from left) Erik and Meaghan Howard, Lisa and Tim Hubbard, and Zachary Riyaz.

Family friends of Coach Lawrence (from left) Erik and Meaghan Howard, Lisa and Tim Hubbard, and Zachary Riyaz.

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