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‘Justine’s Fund’ makes $17,000 in donations to law enforcement, District Attorney

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Local law enforcement received a combined $17,000 from a memorial fund named in honor of a Christian Valley murder victim. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office and its Victim Services program each received $4,000 in donations from Justine’s Fund. The fund was named in honor of 17-year-old Justine Vanderschoot, who was murdered in 2003 by her ex-boyfriend and his roommate. The fund also gave $5,000 to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and $4,000 to the Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy. The money will be used to print booklets teaching teenagers about healthy versus abusive relationships. The donated funds will also go toward updating breathalyzer equipment in drunken driving cases. Annually since 2004, Justine’s Fund has sponsored a dinner-dance to raise the majority of funds that are ultimately awarded to the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Victim Services program and the Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy. This year’s dinner-dance is scheduled for April 17 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased by calling (530) 878-4911. The donations allow the Placer law enforcement agencies and programs to purchase equipment, supplies or services that were not earmarked for funding in the county’s annual budget. Since forming Justine’s Fund in 2004, the Vanderschoots have awarded $80,000 to Placer agencies or programs, she said. “The Placer County District Attorney’s Office and its staff has overwhelming integrity and support for the families among our community,” Justine’s father, Don Vanderschoot, said. “It gives us great pleasure to seek donations for the services that they provide.” Lynnette Vanderschoot, Justine’s mother, said the donations are a way to give something back to the agencies that helped her family get through the ordeal of their daughter’s murder and the judicial process that resulted in the conviction of the two men who committed the crime. “The Placer agencies didn’t know us at all when the tragedy happened,” Lynnette Vanderschoot said. “But they were there for us from the very beginning. To this day, they have remained great friends with us.” ~ Staff report