The past two months have been difficult for the friends and family of Amanda "Kate" Himes.
Himes died March 9 from multiple injuries, according to an autopsy, after her husband fatally shot her before taking his own life in their Chanceford Township home. She was 39.
"There are so many things we've had to do for the first time without her," said Kelly McKinsey, a lifelong friend of Himes and first-grade teacher for the Dallastown Area School District.
Sunday marked the first Mother's Day Himes wasn't with her family, she said.
"It's just so hard and so sad," McKinsley said.
As a mother, Himes loved and adored her school-age sons, Benjamin and Daniel, she said. Himes was a deeply devoted mother, often seen driving her boys to numerous practices and games for basketball, football, lacrosse and soccer, McKinsley said. A salve to their pain has been an outpouring of support from those who love them, she said.
The event: A benefit will be held next month in memory of Himes, and all proceeds will go to the Red Lion Bible Church Custodial Fund for Ben and Dan Himes.
"Fit and Fun for Amanda Himes" will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center at York College, where Himes served as an adjunct professor of math.
"We're offering a day of fitness and fun for $20," said Beverly Frederick, fitness instructor and coordinator of the event.
For a $20 donation, attendees can choose from a few classes or participate in all three: Zumba from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., Belly Blasters from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Fit-n-Slim from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.
The latter, which focuses on resistance training to improve strength, was a favorite of Himes, Frederick said.
"She attended my class for seven years. Every time she came in, she was so bright, so happy," she said.
The boys: Himes also talked about her children every time she was in class, Frederick said.
"She always talked about her boys. My heart is broken to see her children left without her. I felt like I had to do something for them. That's why all proceeds go to her children," she said.
It's a good thing the proceeds are benefiting the boys, McKinsley said.
"The boys are young and have needs. The money will help the family take care of them, their living expenses and help them go to college," she said.
It's a kindness that would've been appreciated by Himes, and she would've been pleased with the event, McKinsley said.
"Kate liked to exercise and be active and healthy. She wanted the boys to be that way too. This is something she would like very much," she said.
-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.