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Ohio University students honor friends' legacies by creating Five Angels Foundation

ATHENS, Ohio (April 2, 2004) -- On April 13, 2003, Ohio University students Andrea Dennis, Erin DeMarco and Christine Wilson and Ohio State University students Kyle Raulin and Alan Schlessman fell victims to a horrific house fire in Columbus, Ohio, that resulted in their deaths.

Grief-stricken and saddened, Ohio University students Bethany Coupland, Melissa Johns and Michele Baker created the Five Angels Foundation to honor and remember their friends.

"The Five Angels Foundation's purpose is to continually accept donations and sponsor events that raise funds for multiple scholarships and charities that honor and remember the five angels we've lost," Coupland, president of the Five Angels Foundation, explained. "We want to make sure our friends' legacies live on in the upcoming years. They were young and they had so many dreams and goals that they could not reach. We hope to touch others lives on their behalf."

Last November, the first of many fundraising events was held at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. Guests enjoyed a banquet and silent auction with all proceeds going toward the Five Angels Foundation and the five separate scholarships set up by each of the victims' families. At the end of the night, proceeds from the event exceeded $48,000.

This spring is the one-year anniversary of the Columbus house fire. Five Angels Secretary Lindsay Schoenberg detailed the next event the organization has planned to reflect on the occasion.

"At midnight on April 12, there will be a candlelight vigil held in memoriam of the event. The vigil is an opportunity for everyone to come together, support one another and remember the five lives lost," Schoenberg said.

"These five people meant so much to their families, friends and even people they did not know," Coupland added. "We want to continue to do things in the angels' honor so that those who knew them can remember them always."

Although the 11 trustees in Five Angels are members of Alpha Gamma Delta, as were Dennis, DeMarco and Wilson, the foundation is not affiliated with the sorority.

More information on the Five Angels Foundation is available online at www.fiveangelsfoundation.org.  

Donations can be sent to:

Five Angels Foundation
P.O. Box 472
Lewis Center, Ohio 43035-9472

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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