Just 18 years old, Westfield High grad Erin Peterson was among the 32 victims of the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. And after her death, her parents began the nonprofit Erin Peterson Fund (EPF) which benefits local students.
Each year, a golf tournament in Erin’s honor raises money for the fund. This year’s event is the 15th annual and will be held Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 a.m., at the Westfields Golf Club, 13940 Balmoral Greens Ave. in Clifton. To register, go to www.erinpetersonfund.org. Besides the registration fee, a special, $15 donation is requested in honor of the organization’s 15th year.
Over the years, donations and participation in this tournament have enabled EPF to give away 144 scholarships and be the sole sponsor of the Westfield High School Young Men’s Leadership Group, Stone Middle and Westfield High Girls Reaching for Academic & Culture Excellence groups, and EPF Koats for Kids program providing new coats to students at Centreville Elementary School. EPF also supports the EPF Fuel Station food pantry at Westfield High and provides quick-fuel bags for the residents of Forest Glen Senior Living Community in Centreville’s Sully Station community.
“So many years, so many memories – and yet, it seems like yesterday that the tragedy of Virginia Tech occurred,” said Erin’s mom, Celeste Peterson of Centreville. “It is my daily reality and source of sorrow and strength. Erin wanted to help people, and EPF is driven by this sweet legacy. Through the community’s help over the last 15 years, we’ve been able to realize this legacy, over and over.”