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Pavilion to be dedicated for victims

by on June 13, 2013 10:59 AM

PLUMVILLE — When tragedy strikes, communities often pull together in an attempt to heal.

A newly constructed pavilion will be dedicated Saturday to four people who lost their lives to domestic violence in one weekend last year near Plumville.

A dedication ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. at the Plumville playground.

On June 1, 2012, Christine Beatty and her daughters, Amanda, 11, and Sara, 6, were murdered by Christine’s estranged husband, Lewis Beatty, 41. He pleaded guilty to the slayings and was sentenced in December to three life terms in prison.

Barely 24 hours later, on June 3, Richard Shotts was killed by his son-in-law, Shaun Fairman. Now 34, Fairman was convicted of the crime in April and has been sentenced to life in prison.

Candice Shotts, widow of Richard Shotts, along with Diane Gould, Linda Saxfield and Shawnda Fleming, all work at Nelson’s Mini Mart in Plumville. Owner Eric Nelson mentioned that something should be done to help the community, according to Gould.

“We agreed with him, and we started fundraising at the store,” Gould said. “We came up with different ideas each month to raise money.”

“They were very good people and they were very active in this community,” Saxfield said. “It was a great loss for the whole community.”

“I think it’s a good thing,” Shotts said. “It brings something good out of something bad. It’s something my grandkids can look at and remember their grandfather.”

The idea of building a pavilion was also Nelson’s idea, according to Saxfield, “and then we just went from there.”

With a goal of $5,000, the workers at the convenience store quickly raised the money through a series of raffles from September through January. Each month, the store would raffle off a different prize. Prizes were mostly donated through members and businesses in the community and ranged from dinners at local restaurants to an Amish hand-crafted bench to a wooden wishing well.

“We had lots of people donate stuff to be auctioned off,” Saxfield said. “We had set a goal of $5,000 and we went over it.”

An additional $2,000 was raised by the local Presbyterian Church of Plumville, which held a pie auction, Saxfield said.

Photos of all the raffle winners can be seen at Nelson’s Mini Mart.

Construction of the pavilion took only one day, according to Gould. Materials for the construction as well as help in the actual building came from members and businesses in the community.

“It was all volunteers that went down and built (the pavilion),” Saxfield said.

Two granite plaques were donated anonymously to be mounted at the pavilion. One plaque bears the image of Richard Shotts, the other has a picture of Christine Beatty and her daughters, Amanda and Sara.

The pavilion measures 20 feet by 40 feet and will initially house four donated picnic tables. More tables are expected to be added later. Plans are also in place to add a grill and possibly a water fountain.

“It’s something good that came out of something horrible,” Candice Shotts said. “This is something that affected the whole community. The community has been very supportive of everything we’ve done.”

Food and refreshments will be provided at Saturday’s dedication. Four bicycles were also donated and will be raffled off to two boys and two girls.

All the employees from Nelson’s Mini Mart are expected to be in attendance, as well as the parents of Christine Beatty and Plumville Mayor David Kimmel.



Jeremy Hartley is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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