TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Topeka family is turning the murder of their loved one into a way to give back to the community, more than a year after Jerrie Ross was killed by a stray bullet standing in her front yard.
“We miss her a lot at all of our events cause she was always you know the big personality,” Jerrie’s little sister Jacque Dupy said.
Her accused killer Tony Baird is behind bars and her family is still waiting for a conviction.
“Every time a new court date comes up, it just brings everything back up,” Dupy said.
While Ross’s family waits for justice, they’re raising awareness for gun violence across the community in hopes that other families don’t have to feel the same pain.
On Friday, they held a fundraiser at Taco Al’s for the local organization, Friends of The K-9 Vest Midwest.
The organization raises money for life-saving vests that K-9 units wear while out in the field.
“They’re the ones who are going out in the line of duty to not only protect us, our community but their fellow officers as well,” founder & director Emily Fawcett said.
Bulletproof vests for these K-9’s range from 700 to 2,000 dollars and the group relies entirely on fundraisers like Friday’s.
Dupy said Ross would be proud they’re finding ways to give back, despite the senseless act that took her life.
“Just know that she was funny and fun-loving and really caring,” Dupy said.
If you weren’t able to make it out to Friday’s event, there is still another way to support. On Saturday, October 2, local bands are having a fundraiser at Lincoln Street Lanes in Wamego. Money will be collected for K-9 vests in Jerrie’s honor.
To donate to the Jerrie Ross Memorial Fund, click here.