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In Hadiya Pendleton’s Memory, A Fund-Raiser To Send Kids To Volleball Camp

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The murder of Hadiya Pendleton made headlines in Chicago and across the country.

Now, as CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, the mom of the teenager with such a bright future has plans to help other kids excel.

Hadiya Pendleton played volleyball for a club team, along with her best friend, Kyra Caldwell.

“It’s really weird not being able to have her out there with us,” said Caldwell. “It’s not just like we were volleyball players. We were all friends. It’s going to be really hard.”

Hadiya was fatally shot on Jan. 29, while seeking shelter from the rain in a Kenwood neighborhood park. In Hadiya’s memory, Kyra and her teammates will take part in a volleyball tournament.

Students from around the city will be invited. Proceeds from tickets, food and t-shirt sales will raise money for volleyball scholarships in Hadiya’s name.

The money will cover the cost of a three-day summer camp that’s normally $150 a child.

Hadiya’s mother, Cleo Crowley Pendleton, said: “It just excites me that someone fond enough of my baby said, ‘Hey in honor of your child, let’s go ahead and make this available for children that may not be able to afford camp.’ ”

Exposure to sports at that camp is crucial, organizers say.

“Statistics have shown if girls are active, they tend to finish school, want to go to college and be productive women,” said Bernie Headley, the director of 360 Sports Volleyball Academy, which is sponsoring the fund-raiser.

That’s the track Hadiaya was on and friends intend to follow in her footsteps.

“She wouldn’t want me to dwell on what happened,” said her friend, Kyra. “She would want me to get better. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Organizers hope to raise $10,000 to give away 50 scholarships. This is the first of several fund-raisers.

The event, sponsored by 360 Sports Volleyball Academy, will be held at 6 p.m. March 26 at Hope Academy Athletics Center, 2641 W. Harrison Ave. Tickets are $5.