-Cindy Adams, founder of Kristina Kares, presented the Wayne Pike Adult Literacy Program and the Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County with a donation of $5,550 each on Monday.
Kristina Kares is a nonprofit organization that was formed after Adams' daughter Kristina was murdered on Aug. 20, 2012.
Kares is an acronym that stands for Kristina's Assistance Relief Effort Services.
"We wanted to keep her memory positive," said Adams. "We raise money for causes that Kristina would want to help."
Kristina helped out the Equinunk Fire Department, Conklin Hill Church, Damascus Ambulance Corps and the Equinunk Historical Society.
"She was an avid reader and history buff," said Adams.
Kristina Kares has a seven person board who each knew Kristina in some way. Adams said that each year the board decides what to raise money for and how they'll do that.
On April 13, Kristina Kares hosted a dinner/dance at Villa Roma Resort and 182 people attended. A silent auction also took place. The event raised over $10,000 and those proceeds were split between the Wayne Pike Adult Literacy Program and the Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County.
"It's a huge help," said Jacci West, executive director for the Wayne Pike Adult Literacy. "The last time we got state funding was in June of 2011. It's difficult to find sustainable sponsors. This is a Godsend to the program."
"We thank you so much for this donation," said Connie Keller, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County.
"I'm glad I was able to do it," said Adams.
She added that she had "mixed emotions."
Kristina Kares will hold a bowling event on Oct. 19, which would be Kristina's 31st birthday. Adams said they haven't decided who the proceeds will go to yet.
The dinner/dance in April was the first big event for the organization, however they have also donated funds to other organizations.
"We sponsored a family at Christmas through the Victims Intervention Program," said Adams. "It was a 30/30. Kristina would have been 30 then so we asked everyone to donate $30."
They did a bake sale that raised $800, which was given to the United Way of Sullivan County for their flood/fire fund. They also gave $500 to families in Newtown, CT, which was raised online and by word of mouth donations.
"We hope to make the dinner/dance an annual spring event," said Adams.
Peck's Market in Callicoon, N.Y. is donating $500 to the Damascus School Library, who will be putting up a plaque dedication for Kristina.
They will also be selling cookbooks in coordination with Kristina Kares, with some proceeds going to the organization. The recipes will be submissions from local people.
Page 2 of 2 - "We will also be putting a memory garden in the back part of my yard," said Adams. "Plants are being donated and people will be volunteering their time to help out."
She expects the garden to be complete in a few years.
To make a donation send checks (payable to Kristina Kares) to Kristina Kares, P.O. Box 161, Callicoon, NY 12723.
You can also find Kristina Kares on Facebook at the "Kristina Kares" Organization Page. Adams said they are also working on a webpage.
For any questions you can message the page on Facebook or e-mail Cindy Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.