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Posted: 01/09/13

Above, Brenda Trpcevski, left, co-owner of Art & Jakes, accepts money from Romeo resident Danielle Duttmer for a raffle ticket. Below top, Aleesha Halas, 7, right, from Washington Twp. gave a picture she drew for the victim's sisters because "she felt bad for them." Sandra Loepp's sisters, from left, Kelly Smalley and Kristy Bottle. Below bottom, "Gooseboi" Dustin McDaniel of Romeo, donated his time as a DJ at the fundraiser Justice for Sandra Loepp held Jan. 4.

(Observer photos by Judith Kimpan)

Community contributes
to justice for Sandra

Observer Special Writer
      Community support and generosity were evident at the "Justice for Sandra Loepp" fundraiser held Friday, Jan. 4, at Art & Jake's Sports Bar & Grill.
       Washington Township resident Sandra Lee Loepp was struck and killed by a car on Sunday, Dec. 16 on Old Van Dyke near 28 Mile Rd. What sets this hit and run fatality apart is that the driver apparently dragged her about 600 feet, dislodged the body, then left Loepp in the parking lot of the Washington Township Mobile Home Park. Her body was found by a passerby the next morning.
       Victor Trpcevski and his wife, Brenda, owners of Art & Jake's, learned of the accident and offered their place to hold the fundraiser. They donated 10 percent of all sales to help the victim's family pay for informational fliers, posters and establish a billboard on Van Dyke to increase awareness of the crime and lead to more tips being called in to Crime Stoppers (1-800-SPEAKUP). The family hopes this will lead to finding the unknown driver who caused the fatality.
       Brenda sold tickets for 50/50 raffles held throughout the evening, a $50 gift certificate for Art & Jake's and an anonymous donation of a gift basket.
       "I followed the family's Justice for Sandra Loepp's Facebook page. It touched my heart. They were doing it all by themselves so we offered our business," she said.
       Her husband explained why he wanted to help.
       "I live on 28 Mile, something like this doesn't happen in this community. I have four children. If it were me, I would want the same help," he said.
       Supporters offered help in a variety of ways.
       Romeo resident Dustin McDaniel donated his time as DJ for the benefit.
       Family friend Tricia Allen created buttons she made in her kitchen from donated supplies. The buttons with Sandra's photo sold out the first 45 minutes of the fundraiser. Allen plans to have more for the next fundraiser held at the Washington Township Buffalo Wild Wings (8669 26 Mile Rd.) on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
       Ed Tokar of Shelby Township donated more than 10,000 fliers that family friend Ed Cass of Richmond Township designed.
       A local business owner won the first two 50/50 raffles and donated all the money back to the family. An anonymous donor donated a blank check. One supporter bought $100 worth of raffle tickets; another gave $500 and offered gold necklaces from their store to Loepp's children with their mother's name on them.
       Aleesha Halas, 7, of Washington Township presented a picture she drew to Loepp's sister explaining she drew it "because she felt bad for her."
       It was a State Police fingerprint program sponsored by the Romeo Elks Club that the Crowes took their daughter Sandra to when she was 10 years old. They kept the fingerprints in a safe. Those fingerprints were used 27 years later to identify their daughter.
       "I never dreamed I would use them," said victim's mother, Sandy Crowe.
       Roger Crowe, father of the victim, wants to thank the community on behalf of his family.
       "People are coming up to me crying that didn't even know my daughter," Crowe said. "The generosity of this community is unbelievable."
       Kristy Bottle, sister of the victim, said she was overwhelmed at the turnout. She explained how this money helps to get out the word; it's important to have more people know about the accident and phone in a tip.
       "No lead is too small," Bottle said.
       Loepp's sister, Kelly Smalley, has been approved by Crime Stoppers to accept donations. Please submit checks to Kelly Smalley, P.O. Box 295, Memphis, MI 48041.

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Retrieved 7/30/2015 at 2:11:13 PM.
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