Slaying victim's friends donate money to area domestic violence shelters

2013-03-13T11:55:00Z 2014-01-15T19:01:11Z Slaying victim's friends donate money to area domestic violence sheltersGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 13, 2013 11:55 am  • 

Friends of a Calumet City woman who police say was beaten to death by her live-in boyfriend, will split money from a fundraiser among six Northwest Indiana and south suburban domestic violence organizations.

Laura Wilson, one of the friends of Gena Chiodo who helped coordinate a domestic abuse fundraiser Feb. 23 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Lansing, said the decision was made earlier this week to split the money among several organizations.

Previously, officials said the nearly $20,000 raised from ticket sales to 455 people, and raffles of prizes donated by area businesses, would be split between the Haven House in Hammond and the South Suburban Family Shelter in Homewood.

Yet Wilson said four other organizations will get some financial help from the fundraiser’s proceeds.

Those include the Caring Place Inc., in Valparaiso; the Alternative House in Gary and the St. Jude House in Crown Point. Each of those organizations will receive a financial donation, although Wilson would not specify how much. She did say some facilities received more money than others.

Also getting some help indirectly is the Harbor House maintained by the Kankakee County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Wilson said the organization isn’t receiving a donation, but that money from the fundraiser is being given to an area Boy Scout troop which had an Eagle Scout candidate who organized construction of a play set at the Harbor House property.

Harbor House officials said the project would have cost them about $1,200 if they had to purchase it themselves.

Supporters of Chiodo have said they’d like to make such fundraisers an annual event. Their intent is to benefit people who work to reduce instances of domestic abuse, while also paying tribute to Chiodo’s memory.

Chiodo was living in Calumet City with boyfriend Donol Clark when she was reported missing in October. She was a hairstylist at a salon in Munster.

Police in Calumet City arrested Clark after checking their house and discovering traces of blood and other signs of a struggle.

Chiodo's body was found in December in a wooded area near Lowell.

Clark faces charges of murder and concealment of a homicide, and is being held at Cook County Jail in Chicago without bond while his criminal case is pending.

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