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Golf event to honor murdered teenager

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By Susan K. Schmeichel
Thursday, July 31, 2003

The family of a Murrysville teenager murdered earlier this year wants to help others achieve the career of which she dreamed.

The Dana Pliakas Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Aug. 23 at the Murrysville Golf Course. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Dana Pliakas Memorial Scholarship Fund, said Mike Marcinizyn, Pliakas' brother.

Marcinizyn said his 17-year-old sister, who was shot to death on Electric Avenue in North Braddock on March 23, had dreams of becoming a nurse. The family hopes to keep those dreams alive for other young people by establishing a fund that will provide two $500 scholarships each year to students in any medical field, he said.

"It will be for any student from around the Pittsburgh area," Marcinizyn said. "She was a great person and we want to keep her name out there for as long as we can to honor her."

Pliakas' mother said her daughter had a talent for hair dressing and had been studying cosmetology while attending high school, but within the last year of her life she took an interest in the medical field.

"It didn't surprise me," Cindy Pliakas said. "She was so caring and she loved children. I always told her she should be a teacher or a nurse because she was so caring."

Pliakas, a junior at Franklin Regional High School, was found murdered in North Braddock, where police said she had gone with friends to attend a party.

Rodney Lee Burton, 21, of North Braddock and Brittany Williams, 19, of Penn Hills, have been charged with criminal homicide. The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office is seeking the death penalty against Burton. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty against Williams.

Police have said Burton killed Pliakas to keep her from telling police that Burton and his girlfriend, Williams, had held Pliakas against her will and tortured her in the hours before her death.

Additional Information:


To register for the Dana Pliakas Memorial Golf Tournament call (724) 733-2116. The cost, which includes golf, cart, snacks at the turn and a catered lunch is $320 per foursome.

Reservations must be made by Aug. 10

Donations to the Dana Pliakas Memorial Scholarship Fund can be sent to Mike Marcinizyn, 3066 Trafford Road, Murrysville, PA 15668.

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