Six area rotary clubs joined together to contribute a total of $6,000 to families of the victims of a shooting spree earlier this month that began in Prince Georges County and ended in the Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County.
Six families are to receive $1,000 each. Half the money will go to the three families whose loved ones were killed in the May 5 and 6 shooting. They include Malcom "Mike" Winffel of Boyds, Claudina Molina of Silver Spring and the suspect's estranged wife, Gladys Tordil.
Three others were injured in the shooting, including two who rushed to help Molina as the suspect, Eulalio Sevilla Tordil, allegedly attempted to car jack her. A third person was injured trying to help Gladys Tordil, who was shot while she waited to pick up her children from school, according to Greg Wims, founder and president of the non-profit Victims' Rights Foundation, which is spearheading the fundraising efforts.
The rotary club's partnering with the foundation "is truly an illustration of (the) rotary's motto, 'Service Above Self' and (the) rotary's commitment to the local community," Wims said during the May 19 press conference held at the Redwood Restaurant and Bar in Bethesda.
Wims said he has spoken with numerous family members of the victims. It is the intention of Winffel's two teenage children who attend Clarksburg High School, Kayla and Brandon, to use their money to attend college, he said.
Molina, who was a trained surgical nurse from La Paz, Bolivia, also left two high school students, Alex and Melissa Altamirano, who attend High Point High School in Beltsville.
"The two young ladies," he said, referring to Molina's children, "they definitely want to study and go to college in honor of their mother."
The four teenagers also will receive the book, "When Mommy is in Heaven," by Wendy Hackey, who is a member of the Victims' Rights Foundation.
Wims would not speak specifically about the injured, noting that they had asked him not to. "All six families are very appreciative, and they ask for your prayers," he said.
He did, however, comment on how so many people stepped up to help, at great risk to themselves. Winffel, and his friend Carl Unger, were both shot answering Molina's plea for help. He also called Molina a hero for struggling with her murderer, causing him to lose his glasses.
"I think that slowed him down," Wims said of Tordil, who has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and four counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
"She may have saved other lives," he said.
Donating $1,000 each were the rotary clubs Metro Bethesda, Silver Spring-Kensington, North Bethesda, Downtown Silver Spring, Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Potomac-Bethesda. The money was raised over a seven-day period, Wims said.
"It was very easy to raise the money. Our members were very concerned," said Russell Lacey, president of Metro Bethesda Rotary.
H. Ron Sigelman, president of the North Bethesda Rotary, agreed, adding, "We are a club that is very eager to help raise funds for whatever it might be."