Parents Of Slain Teen Find Meaning In Raising Scholarship Money

(CBS) – A Lyons Township student received the use of a new car on Friday, for sinking an incredible half-court basket last week.

It happened during a benefit game last week to honor the memory of a special student.

John and Brenda O’Laughlin say they are delighted that the half-court shot not only gained the young man who made it a new car, but the event also raised $15,000 for a scholarship fund named for their daughter.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker sat down with the parents, four years after the brutal murder of 14-year-old Kelli O’Laughlin.

Her mother and father have experienced more than grief. Their marriage has been tested, but it survives.

“There’s all the regular issues with any marriage, right? And then you work through that, and then you have this giant thing, I don’t even know what to call it. But in some ways, only we can understand it,” John O’Laughlin says.

The empty feeling in Brenda O’Laughlin’s heart won’t go away, she says.

“Our oldest son just had another child in April, right around Kelli’s birthday, and you know you’re supposed to be excited about all this stuff, and you know, right now, part of it is gone,” she says.

The O’Laughlins devote much of their time  raising money for the scholarship fund named for their daughter. This year, they’ve raised $148,000 to fund 18 four-year scholarships.

Had she lived, Kelli would be 18 years old.

 

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