It’s been more than two years since the Northern Illinois University communities said good-bye to Toni Keller, but the slain teen hasn’t been forgotten.
NIU’s “sunflower girl,” known for her love of the color yellow and her vibrant self-designed sunflower tattoo, the 18-year-old is memorialized with a white cross at DeKalb’s Prairie Park.
But plans are in the works for a tribute more in keeping with Keller’s sunny style and personality, and the DeKalb Elks Lodge is pitching in.
A raffle fundraiser starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the DeKalb Elks Lodge, 209 S. Annie Glidden Rd., will raise money toward the purchase of a sunflower bench that will be placed near the park's entrance.
“I don't know, but to me, the artsy sunflower bench honors Toni more so than the stark white cross,” Keller family supporter Thelma Holderness told Patch last summer.
Read: Fund Established to Purchase Bench in Honor of 'Sunflower Girl' Toni Keller
Tickets for the Feb. 9 fundraiser are $5 each and can be purchased by contacting the DeKalb Elks at 815-756-6912
Appetizers will be served at 6 p.m., followed by raffles at 7 p.m. Cash prizes of $25 to $500 will be awarded to winners.
Keller, a Plainfield resident and Neuqua Valley High School graduate, vanished in October 2010 after telling friends she was going for a walk in Prairie Park. The remains of the NIU freshman were discovered two days later.
Her accused killer, William “Billy” Curl, is scheduled to stand trial this April.
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