On May 3, Connor Zink, 8, was lying on his skateboard on the side of the road in front of the Jefferson Hills home of his grandfather, Dale Zink, when he was struck by a car and killed. The incident is under investigation.
Connor is the son of Jaime Grimenstein, 26, of Elizabeth Township and Jeremy Zink, 27, of Jefferson Hills. Connor was a second-grader at Clairton Elementary School.
When a friend, Angelica Campano, 13, saw money being collected at the vigil for a headstone for the little boy, she felt she needed to do something.
The result was a fundraiser in which Angelica, her twin sister Angelina and friend Katie Savage, 13, raised more than $450 at their Pleasant Hills Middle School to help Connor's family with expenses.
Ms. Grimenstein is a cashier, and Mr. Zink is unemployed. They have no insurance to pay for a headstone to mark their son's burial plot.
Angelica and Angelina are the daughters of Tom and Pam Campano. Katie is the daughter of Michael and Kathey Savage. All are from Jefferson Hills.
For their fundraiser, the girls decorated pens -- purchased by their mothers -- with colorful duct tape to resemble roses, and sold them for $3 a piece. To create the pens the girls cut "petals" from the tape and then fastened 15 to 20 to the top of the pen to resemble a flower. They wrapped green duct tape around the rest of the pen for a stem.
The girls found the craft idea online. The two-week project resulted in their selling 100 pens to classmates. Donations were also received.
"I think it's going to help out the family with the tombstone," Angelica said. "Our goal was to help a little bit.''
"We wanted to do something," Angelina said.
Katie said the challenge was devoting time to the project while keeping up with their school work and, in the case of the Savages, soccer practice and games.
"It impresses me that they went out of their way to help someone in need and the compassion they showed," said Pleasant Hills Middle School principal Dan Como.
Ashley Zink of Jefferson Hills remembers her nephew's smile most of all.
"He was a very kind and intelligent young boy," she said. "This is a great loss."
To help, call Miss Zink at 412-926-2245.
Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: email@example.com.