Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
By Bethany Hofstetter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 3:56 p.m.
Judy Palmer spent her life giving of herself to others; now her family plans to continue that legacy.Palmer, of Hampton, spent her life working as a nurse and being a wife, mother and grandmother to those she loved, but on May 19, she died at age 59 after battling multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects the plasma cells. The Palmer family knew they wanted her name and mission to live on and didn't waste time in organizing the first Judith Lee Palmer Memorial Golf Outing for Sept. 29 to raise money for a scholarship in her name. "It's been great," said Tracy Hanna, Palmer's daughter, of the community support for the golf outing. "It's really helped with the grieving process because it's like she's still here. People are reaching out to help the family."The scholarship will be offered to a Shaler Area girls softball player who plans to study nursing. "I wanted the scholarship to be for a Shaler softball girl because of all the things they've done for our family," said Skip Palmer, Judy Palmer's husband and coach of the varsity girls' softball team.Judy Palmer would attend all of the softball games to support the Shaler Area Titans on the field, as well as her husband. When she was diagnosed with cancer and became ill, the softball players came together to wear burgundy multiple myeloma awareness ribbons in their hair during the WPIAL playoff game against Latrobe. Families and players sent cards of support, and after Judy Palmer died, they rallied around the Palmer family. "When word got out that Judy had passed, you can't believe the amount of food sent to the house and people dropping in," Skip Palmer said. "You don't realize how many people you have touched or she has touched until something like this happens."Team members also held a picnic for the entire family, and current and former softball players and their families came to the house to plant flowers in the spring—something Judy Palmer always did. "The softball program has been a tremendous support for our family," Hanna said.Skip Palmer said he hopes the golf outing takes off because it will support future nursing students and continue his wife's memory. "I thought it was a great idea, giving something back," Skip Palmer said. "Judy was a very giving person."The golf outing will be held at LakeVue North Golf Course and costs $320 per team of four. It includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, lunch and dinner. The family still is accepting donations to support the scholarship fund. "The fact that we're able to help a young high-schooler going into college and with dreams of becoming a nurse ... my mom would love that," Hanna said. For more information, to make a donation or to register for the outing, visit www.youcaring.com, and search for "Judy Palmer Nursing Scholarship."
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