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Memorial fundraiser planned for Red Lion teens killed in fiery crash
A memorial fundraiser is in the works for two Red Lion football players who died in a fiery car crash in June 2015.
The event is slated for 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at Honeysuckle Ridge LLC, located at 71 McCalls Ferry Road in Airville.
Nicholas Mankin and Stone Hill were 16 and 17, respectively, at the time of their deaths. Mankin's mother, Carol Tracey, and her husband, Bryan, along with Stone's parents, Tina and Glenn, have been looking for ways to give back to the community that came to their aid in the wake of their sons' deaths and continues to express interest in their families' well-being.
According to Carol Tracey, the Nicholas A. Mankin Scholarship Fund was established after her son's death, and Stone's parents established a scholarship fund for their son as well.
Both memorial funds had received donations that were distributed as scholarships for their sons' graduating classes. After that, the two families decided to hold a memorial fundraiser to keep the scholarship funds alive and growing.
The first memorial fundraiser event was a success, and Mankin's family was able to give three $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors at Red Lion — one for an athlete, one for a cheerleader and one for a prospective art student. Carol Tracey said they wanted the scholarships to appeal to a diversity of students, including those involved in sports and the arts.
"It was a wonderful event. It was the first time either of us had ever done something so big, for any reason," she said.
Hill's family has also given out three $1,500 scholarships from his memorial fund, a football/academic scholarship, a baseball/academic scholarship and a technical school scholarship. The family plans to award these scholarships again this year, according to Tina Hill.
Scholarship funds: Scholarship information is available at the school's guidance office for any senior who wishes to apply, Carol Tracey said.
Last year, no prospective art students applied for a scholarship, so an academic scholarship was offered instead. This will continue to be the case if no applications are received from students who meet the scholarship designations. However, the criteria set for grades and future plans will remain in place for any scholarship that is awarded, she said.
Carol Tracey said members of the community have already expressed interest in this year's fundraiser, and they are hoping to raise enough money to provide bigger scholarships.
An additional purpose: However, both families want to change course by expanding the memorial funds to include not only scholarships but community support.
Carol Tracey related that when her son's friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she was able to help him personally but felt the family could have been better supported through the use of the memorial fund.
"You can't fix everything, but we could have done something more for the family," she said.
The definition for "community needs" will be purposefully broad, Carol Tracey said, but examples include providing funds for families of severely ill children or families who have been displaced by a fire. However, the decision to provide funding to a community member in need will be made on a case-by-case basis, she said.
"We don't just want to be the little square that a round peg won't fit into," she said.
Widening the scope of contributions: Tracey's family is currently working on moving funds from the school's scholarship foundation to a local bank so they can be used for community giving.
In addition, the name of the memorial fund will be changed to reflect their additional purpose. That information will be released in the near future, she said, so residents can make direct donations.
Hill's fund has already been moved and is now known as the Stone Hill Memorial Community Fund. All proceeds will benefit those in need with emergency food and energy assistance through Mason Dixon Community Services and the Delta Senior Center, Tina Hill said, as well as the scholarships.
According to the Facebook event page for the fundraiser, food, snacks and beverages will be available at the family-oriented event, but alcohol will be prohibited. The event will feature door prizes, raffles and silent auctions, including one package containing two tickets to see Journey and Def Leppard in Hershey on May 25, along with a free hotel stay and an Uber gift card.
Activities will include music, a mechanical bull and corn hole competitions. Tickets are being sold online at nickandstone.brownpapertickets.com and will also be available at the door. Those under 13 are invited to attend for free.
Background: The two teenagers were killed in a fiery crash when Stone, who was driving an SUV, crashed the vehicle into a utility pole in the 200 block of Slab Road in Lower Chanceford Township after 7 p.m. on June 16, 2015.
According to police, testing determined that Stone's blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was .094 percent. The legal limit for drivers over 21 in Pennsylvania .08 percent, and those under 21 are prohibited from drinking.
An 11-month investigation revealed social media photos of the teens drinking on the day of the accident. Police said that Stone and Nick were drinking at the Windsor Township home of Jodie and Stephen Tierney, who had provided them with alcohol on several occasions.
Stephen Tierney pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of corruption of minors and furnishing alcohol to minors and was sentenced to three years probation.
Jodie Tierney was found guilty on two counts each of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment and one count each of corruption of minors and furnishing alcohol to minors in a jury trial in July 2017.
She was sentenced to serve 2½ to six years in state prison, however, she was recently granted bail as her attorney appeals her conviction to the state Superior Court.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include additional information pertaining to the Stone Hill Memorial Community Fund and scholarships that have been awarded in Hill's name.
It has also been corrected to note the vehicle involved in the crash was an SUV and that Jodie Tierney did not provide the alcohol consumed by the teens the day of the crash.