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Manhattan Beach Rotary Honors Memory of Shooting Victims

Dec 13, 2017 09:23PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach suffered a tragic blow in October when two of its public servants - Manhattan Beach MIddle School special education teacher Sandy Casey and Manhattan Beach Police Department records technician Rachael Parker - were killed in the mass shooting in Las Vegas. The Manhattan Beach Rotary Club has since endeavored to keep their memory alive by creating scholarships in honor of these two young women.

"Our board and our members felt the pain and loss, as did everyone in our community, of the tragic death of Rachael and Sandy," said Manhattan Beach Rotary President Mark Burton. "We believe that a scholarship in their name to a deserving Mira Costa student was the most appropriate way to honor their memory."

The Manhattan Beach Rotary awards scholarships each year to Mira Costa High School graduates who are from families who are disadvantaged or in need. This year, the group will be awarding two additional scholarships in honor of Casey and Parker.

On Saturday, December 9, the Rotary sponsored a benefit concert to create a scholarship in Casey's honor to support a student who is interested in pursuing a career in special education. The concert featured internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Felix Kellaway, along with the Manhattan Beach MIddle School Madrigal Singers and local Rotarian Joel Ruben. Burton said that the group expects that the final amount raised should be about $4,000 for the scholarship.

On Sunday, December 10, the night of the holiday fireworks, the Rotary raised an equivalent amount for a scholarship in honor of Rachael Parker. As a sponsor of the annual Manhattan Beach holiday fireworks show, the Rotary had eight VIP tickets to the event. Rather than giving those tickets to members of the Rotary board, said Burton, the board voted unanimously to auction off those tickets to fund a scholarship in honor of Parker. The tickets went for $1000 per pair, resulting in a total of $4,000 raised for the Parker scholarship.

Any community member who would like to make an additional contribution to the scholarship funds is asked to contact Burton directly at or (310) 562-7897.

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