The family of slain Provo resident Brian Watkins returned to New York on Wednesday to accept a $50,000 check to establish a tennis scholarship in his memory.
The money, donated by the Association for a Better New York, was presented to Brian's parents, Sherwin and Karen Watkins, at an award luncheon for the New York Junior Tennis League, a non-profit association that provides free tennis lessons for children.The luncheon, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, was attended by more than 500 children and adults, including tennis celebrities and New York Mayor David Dinkins. The Watkinses were accompanied by their surviving son and his wife.
Association chairman Lewis Rudin said he was moved to establish a scholarship in Watkins' name after news of the young man's death shocked the nation.
Brian Watkins, a 22-year-old tennis buff who dreamed of becoming a big city prosecutor, was fatally stabbed Sept. 2 after he intervened when a gang of youths punched his mother and robbed his father in a New York subway station.
The Watkinses had gone East to attend the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens and were on their way to dinner when the robbery occurred.
Eight suspects are awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.
Mary Holloway, association executive director, said the donation will be used to benefit children in Provo and New York through the sport of tennis.
"The family will decide exactly how the money will be used," she said in a telephone interview.
Holloway said Rudin gave a second donation of $5,000 to be used specifically for a summer intern program named for Brian Watkins in New York. Ten summer interns will teach tennis to young students.