Hundreds of community members turned out at a fundraiser in memory of Brooke Bennett, Friday night. They enjoyed a pasta dinner at Bethel Elementary School and donated to a fund created in Bennett's honor.
"I was waiting for something to happen," said Wendy Bent, who came from Randolph to support the family. "Hoping for something to take place that I would be able to take part in in some way."
It's been nearly two months since the 12-year-old's death, and now her family has established the Brooke Bennett Memorial Foundation in her honor.
"We set it up to try and make something good come out of this whole situation if we can," says her father, Jim.
The communities of Bethel, Braintree, and Randolph rallied around Brooke's family at the time of her disappearance and death and her step-mother, Janet, says that support has continued in the weeks since.
"It's been amazing," she says. "People have been here every step of the way. Every step of the way."
Now the family is relying on that support to help raise money so they can establish two scholarships in Brooke's memory. The plan is to award the first ones in 2013, the year she would have graduated from high school.
Throughout the pasta dinner the family raffled off items donated by local business, and there is one more raffle left to do. Local artists have been hard at work making squares for the Brooke Bennett Memorial Foundation quilt. The family had originally planned on making one quilt. So far, they have enough squares for three. The quilts will be raffled off on Sept. 14, at the Tunbridge Fair.
Between establishing the fund and setting up the pasta dinner the family has been busy. It's welcome distraction from the frustration they feel waiting for someone to be charged in Brooke's death.
"We just hope they're crossing all their T's and dotting all their I's and making sure that it's done right," says Jim Bennett.
"Justice will come," adds Janet. "Sooner or later it will come."
More information on the Memorial Fund will soon be available at www.brookebennett.org
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