Colleen Scarola's story has resonated throughout the community, as family and friends remember the moments they've shared together.
"She was new to the area and I had been here about two years and we kind of commiserated and figured it out together," said Stephanie Flannigan, Scarola's friend.
Scarola was allegedly attacked by her husband, James Scarola. Police say she was hit in the head with an aluminum bat, as her children slept upstairs.
"It feels like a nightmare that I can't wake up from," Flannigan said. "To see a friend go through such a tragic incident and to know her spouse as well, you just can't imagine."
Scarola is listed in fair condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington while she fights a traumatic brain injury. Her friend, Stephanie Flannigan, has stood by her side since 2002 and now, she's joined two other women on a special mission.
"When Courtney brought me the story about Colleen and stuff it made me feel like, that this was a way I could give back to another victim of crime," said Pamela Fontaine, the owner of the Jazzercise Colchester Fitness Center.
The team is putting on a fundraiser to help raise money for the family. The Colleen Strong fundraiser will bring together jazzercise and Zumba for one night. Instructors have volunteered their time for the cause. Donations continue to pour in, and the first batch of tickets have sold out.
Courtney Wagner is one of the organizers and said, "All 300 are gone and we made another 200 today, so we're going for it."
So far more than $72,000 has come in online to help Colleen Scarola's family.
"They're from a very rural part of Pennsylvania and this feels to them a lot like where they're from," Flannigan said. "Like I said, the outpour of support has been incredible."
James Scarola is being held without bail. The Chittenden County state's attorney says the case is raising awareness about the devastating effects of domestic violence.
"It's a case that we're going to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and I think that's what this community is going to demand," said Chittenden County Prosecutor T.J. Donovan.
As organizers open their event to a growing crowd, and bracelets supporting Scarola are worn, Flannigan says they are staying strong, and holding on.
"We're all visiting, so we all kind of touch base after we visit and share our experience of how our visit went and see if we can kind of piece together any, anything from our visits," Flannigan said.
The fundraiser will take place Nov. 2 at the Sheraton Hotel on Williston Road. You can still purchase tickets at the Jazzercise Colchester Fitness Center or at Danform Shoe Outlets throughout the area.
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:56 PM EST2013-12-09 04:56:59 GMT
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. It happened Saturday night on the Killington Road. Police say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson wentMore >>
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:36 PM EST2013-12-09 03:36:50 GMT
A Burlington congregation made a short pilgrimage to it's new home Sunday. The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decidedMore >>
The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decided not to renew its lease.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:35 PM EST2013-12-09 03:35:27 GMT
The 5th annual Festival of Trees in St. Albans is helping to feed the hungry this holiday season. Thirty decorated trees are on display in City Hall. Some of the trees have been auctioned off and theMore >>
Thirty decorated trees are on display in City Hall. Some of the trees have been auctioned off and the rest will be given away at a raffle.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:02 PM EST2013-12-09 03:02:41 GMT
Burlington Police are looking for two suspects involved in an assault and robbery.It happened on Front Street Sunday afternoon. The victim told police he was held up at gunpoint by two African AmericanMore >>
Burlington Police are looking for two suspects involved in an assault and robbery.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 9:34 PM EST2013-12-09 02:34:59 GMT
"It was always a lot of fun. It was a great way to dress up and have a fancy party -- something that we usually didn't get to go to, big fancy events," said Ann Cunningham. Cunningham, a native of Burlington,More >>
How do you spread holiday cheer? For decades, one Vermont family has kept up a tradition to throw a christmas party for hundreds of families in need.More >>