Riverhead High School graduates have launched a fundraising campaign to help their former lacrosse coach with funeral expenses for his daughter and ex-wife, who were killed in a double-murder at their Wading River home Sunday.
Kevin Tuthill, 22, of Manorville said he met Tony Lawrence when he first started playing lacrosse in the third grade and was on the varsity team when Mr. Lawrence, Riverhead’s first ever coach, resigned after eight seasons in 2010.
After learning about the tragic shooting death of Mr. Lawrence’s daughter, Danielle, 17, and her mother, Tanya, 43, Mr. Tuthill said he wanted to get in contact with his former teammates to come up with a way to help with funeral costs.
“He’s a very incredible man,” Mr. Tuthill said. “He made the program what it is today.”
He created the Facebook group “Riverhead lacrosse alumni” on Tuesday and talked with former players about the best way to help Mr. Lawrence.
When the group decided to raise funds for funeral costs, Mr. Tuthill volunteered to create an account on gofundme.com, an online donation system. About three hours after the account was created, nearly $1,800 had been raised.
• To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/mn2ok0
There’s also a plan in the works to have a lacrosse game with all Riverhead players, Mr. Tuthill said. The ticketed event would feature raffles with all proceeds going toward establishing a scholarship in Danielle’s memory, he said.
Mr. Tuthill said he hasn’t been in contact with Mr. Lawrence and the group of players decided to do the fundraiser on their own so their former coach wouldn’t have to worry about getting involved with the efforts.
“It’s upsetting our first time to show our appreciation is during a tragic time,” Mr. Tuthill said. “Everyone who’s been a player knows he’s gone above and beyond the role of head coach for anything they needed.”
The mother and daughter were killed by Ms. Lawrence’s boyfriend, Thomas Calhoun, 44, who then committed suicide, according to police. On Tuesday, police said that Mr. Calhoun shot Ms. Lawrence during an argument about them ending their relationship. Danielle was most likely shot coming to her mother’s aide, police said.
Funeral arrangements have been set for Tanya and Danielle and are in care of Alexander-Tuthill Funeral Home in Wading River.