Good work helps to keep memory alive

Cindy Michael has never stopped fighting for the memory of her daughter, Lena Cross, and her two grandsons, Mason Cross, 5, and Christian Pizzulo, 1, who were murdered inside their Girard home nearly 13 years ago.

The murders remain unsolved, and while Michael remains hopeful of resolution, she is fighting just as hard to preserve the memory of these victims and turn the horrific crime into something good. Every year since the September 2005 murders, Michael and her husband, Ken MacPherson, have coordinated a bookbag and school supply giveaway for needy children, all in the name of Lena, Mason and Christian. This year, they gave out 500 bookbags stuffed with supplies.

For 12 years, the couple also has hosted an annual spaghetti dinner, auction and raffle each winter to support the Lena, Mason, Christian Foundation. The foundation was created to honor these lives and help raise the funds necessary to buy hundreds of backpacks and school supplies.

Volunteers, including dozens of friends and neighbors and members of the Mahoning-Trumbull AFL-CIO, turn out each year to help make the event a success.

The idea of the giveaway was spawned when Michael found a Spider-Man bookbag in their home that she had purchased for Mason to use in kindergarten.

Sadly, he had never gotten the chance to wear the backpack.

The boys died in a house fire that police say was set by Lena’s murderer. She was stabbed to death on the home’s first floor while her boys slept in their beds upstairs.

MacPherson has said that overall, the foundation’s events and outpouring of community support have given the family strength.

We praise Michael, MacPherson and all the volunteers for their efforts.

And at the same time, we urge the authorities to keep the investigation fresh and focused. We believe someone knows something or saw something. We urge those people to come forward to help find justice for Lena, Mason and Christian and for their family.

Until then, we hope the foundation continues this good work in their names.