Group sets up funeral donations for family of slain 16-year-old; services are 10 a.m. Tuesday

Charlene Holmes, 16, is to be buried Tuesday.

Funeral services for Charlene Holmes, the 16-year-old killed Sunday in a drive-by shooting, are to be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary of The Annunciation Parish, 134 Norfolk St., in Area IV. Visiting hours are to be held a day earlier, from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, at St. Paul AME Church,  37 Bishop Allen Drive. Central Square is the nearest T stop for both.

The Friends of CLRS site has set up donations for the family of Charlene.

“Adding to the heavy burden of the Holmeses’ grief, the family does not have sufficient funds to pay for the expenses of Charlene’s funeral and burial,” said Elaine Schear, president of the group associated the Cambridge Rindge & Latin high school attended by Charlene, a sophomore. “We ask you to join us in helping them.”

A school official confirmed Saturday that, based on a conversation with one of Charlene’s parents, donations were needed. If there is money left over after a funeral, though, there may be another person whose family needs funds:

Charlene’s fellow CRLS student and shooting victim, Thanialee Cotto, 17, is recovering in Massachusetts General Hospital. When visited by high school Principal Damon Smith and district Superintendent Jeffrey Young early this week, she was conscious and smiling, Young said at a School Committee meeting Tuesday. She participated in her graduation ceremonies Thursday by video conference call — even wearing a cap and gown as she spoke to fellow graduates.

“You guys, we finally made it,” she said, according to The Boston Globe:

It was a high moment in a ceremony marked with words of sadness Thursday. Holmes’ older brother Kenyatta Terrence Holmes also graduated, and as he walked across the stage to hug school officials and get his diploma, much of the audience rose to their feet to applaud him, as well.

“Boy, what a courageous young man,” Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Young said a few hours before the ceremony.

Yet Thanialee may have a long road ahead of her in recovering from the attack, which left her in critical condition for days.

Police say Charlene and Thanialee were almost certainly not the targets of the shooting; Charlene was said by many to be walking past the Willow Street house where the drive-by took place, and Thanialee was visiting and braiding a man’s hair.

The plea for donation to the Holmeses for funeral expenses asks that people give “as soon as you can,” with a handover of money to the family expected to come at the end of the day Monday.

Donations can be made at the website (click on “Donate” and type in “Holmes Fund” in the “Designation” box) or by check to the “CRLS Holmes Family Fund” at:

CRLS Holmes Family Fund
Cambridge Teachers Federal Credit Union
20 Felton St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

This post was updated June 9, 2012, with information about the funeral and the family’s need for donations.

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