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.
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.