BY MICHELE MURPHY
Lorain County – The children of Ohio State Trooper Kenny Velez, killed while working along Interstate 90 in Lakewood last September, have created a college scholarship program in his name as a way to thank the community for the support showed them last year. Any college-bound high school senior in Lorain County may apply.
Andria Velez, a Kent State University student, and her brothers, Devon, who is serving with the U.S. Air Force in South Korea, and Christian, a high school student, are working with their dad’s friends, many from the ranks of law enforcement, to raise money for The Kenny Velez Scholarship Fund.
Andria said she and her brothers wanted to keep their dad’s name and memory alive in a positive way. In addition, she said the kindness and generosity of others helped them get through this year. “It gets me through the day even now,” she said.
She said the family realizes there are many local students who want to go to college, but are held back due to the expense. She said the scholarship fund “can help some students achieve their dreams.”
Two fund-raising events are planned for Fri., Sept. 15, marking the one year anniversary of his death.
A dinner will be held 5-8 p.m. at St. Lad’s Club, 4221 Clinton Ave, Sheffield Township. Tickets are $20, with all proceeds going to the scholarship fund.
Sheffield Lake police officer AJ Torres, a lifelong friend of Velez, said the group plans a raffle featuring as grand prize a stay at a four-bedroom house in Hilton Head., S.C. Each bedroom has its own private bathroom. It also boasts a heated pool, hot tub, and is located near golf courses and the beach. Gift baskets and other items will be raffled, Torres said. Raffle tickets are $25 each or six for $100.
Earlier in the day day, a golf outing will be held. Torres said it is sold out already, but the group is still seeking hole sponsors. The group recently held a 5k run/1k walk that more than 200 participated.
To purchase a ticket for the picnic or the raffle, phone Torres at (440) 396-7705. Checks should be made payable to Lorain County Blue Foundation, a law enforcement 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Winners need not be present.
The group plans to award its first scholarships next year.