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Donations build fund to help with effects of Franklin Regional stabbings

| Monday, April 21, 2014, 11:49 p.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks laughs as Alex Pasculle is thanked by Jennifer Dominski after he pulled her sons name to win a gift basket from Starbucks which was one of the many donated items raffled in a Chinese auction at Hoss's Steakhouse in Murrysville on Monday, April 22, 2014.

Thousands of donated dollars are rolling in for a fund dedicated to help students affected by mass stabbings at Franklin Regional High School and their families.

Managers at Hoss's in Murrysville announced on Monday that $7,500 will be added to the account from sales on Friday and tickets purchased by patrons for a chance to win donated auction items.

“We couldn't have done it without everybody else in Murrysville,” said restaurant general manager Jennifer Dominski. “Not just us, but the community made a great donation.”

During Saturday's Pittsburgh Pirates home game, a 50/50 charity raffle totalling $14,695 was designated for the “We Are FR” fund, according to the Pirates Charities website. It was the second highest amount collected this season at PNC Park.

The fund was established by community leaders this month after 19 high-schoolers and a security guard were injured inside a first-floor hallway just after 7 a.m. April 9 when a sophomore allegedly brought two knives to school. Four male students remain hospitalized.

Four committee members are tasked with determining how to distribute the “We Are FR” fund, which is meant to help with the immediate needs of injured students and their families, the needs of other students and staff members and the district's long-term needs, said Jill Cooper, a committee member. Immediate needs can include incidental medical and travel expenses not covered by health insurance, she said.

The $7,500 includes 25 percent of sales at Hoss's on Friday and hundreds of raffle tickets purchased for the chance to win auction items.

“I think that's phenomenal,” Cooper said. “It just shows the generosity of our community. That is a lot of money to be raised in such a short period of time.”

Winners of the 45 auction items were chosen on Monday by Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks and Franklin Regional senior Alex Pasculle at Hoss's. Donors wrote their names and phone numbers on tickets in hopes of winning items donated by residents and area businesses such as restaurant gift certificates, bottles of wine, movie passes, homemade jewelry, horseback riding lessons and massages.

Pasculle was at school when the violence unfolded, and restaurant managers asked him to help pull names, Dominski said.

“At least they could see something good come out of something terrible,” she said.

Pasculle, an EMT withMurrysville Medic One, began triaging his injured classmates before ambulance personnel arrived at the school.

“It was such a team effort” with medics from services around the area, he said.

He threw out the first pitch at Saturday's Pirates game against the Milwaukee Brewers and has been regularly approached in public and thanked for his efforts.

“It makes me so happy to see that everyone's going to be taken care of” through donations, Pasculle said.

The “We Are FR” fund committee plans to meet this week to discuss parameters surrounding the account at S&T Bank, Cooper said. She did not have a total amount donated to the fund.

“I love Murrysville businesses,” said Brooks, who was one of the creators of the fund. “This is not just about school, residents, this is businesses, everybody. That will lead to real healing.”

Staff writer Stacey Federoff contributed. Renatta Signorini is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. She can bereached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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