Scholarship to honor slain veterans advocate

A scholarship to honor the memory of murdered veterans advocate April Kauffman will continue her mission to help those who serve and their families, Atlantic County Crime Stoppers announced Tuesday.
“I’m so honored that Crime Stoppers would think of Mom,” her daughter, Kim Pack, told BreakingAC. “When they approached me, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.”
The April Christine Memorial Scholarship will be presented annually to an Atlantic County high school student who is the child of an active or retired member of the military or law enforcement who is looking to major in criminal justice, explained scholarship committee Chairman Frank Balles, the former Atlantic County sheriff.
The name of the scholarship also honors the need to distance the slain Linwood woman from her husband, who was also linked to her murder.
“In order to return some of April’s lost dignity and separate her from the man responsible for her loss, April’s daughter had her mom’s headstone lovingly engraved as April Christine,” Balles explained in announcing the scholarship.
“The scholarship is a perfect way to honor April and what she lived for,” he said. “Unfortunately, the conversation has shifted to focus on what happened to her, often overshadowing all of the amazing things she accomplished and believed in.  She was a fierce advocate for veterans and members of law enforcement and we think this scholarship is a wonderful way to carry on her legacy.  We are excited to be able to continue to do good things in our community in her name.”
With veterans issues so important to April and law enforcement so central in the pursuit of justice for her daughter, the scholarship is the perfect joining together of their passions, Pack said.
“It’s such a special way to marry both of our worlds together,” said Pack, who is on the committee.
She said she is glad to be involved with the work of Balles and his wife, Cindy.
“They’re so smart and just so dialed in to giving back,” Pack said of the Balleses. “I certainly couldn’t do this without them.”
The first fundraiser to support the April Christine Memorial Scholarship will be a beef and beer on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the American Legion Post #352 in Somers Point. 
Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children younger than 12. They can be bought at the door or by emailing crimestoppersatlantic@gmail.com .
The first donation came from local radio host Harry Hurley, who presented the committee with a $1,000 check, Balles said.
Applications for the scholarship must be completed in full and submitted no later than March 1st. 
Anyone interested in contributing to Atlantic County Crime Stoppers or the April Christine Memorial Scholarship can email them at crimestoppersatlantic@gmail.com.

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