Almost every day the future becomes brighter for the family of slain Utah Corrections Lt. Fred House, thanks to Samaritans throughout the state.
To help the family of four left without a life insurance policy after House's death the Utah Peace Officers Association, Salem resident Bill Cope and the Utah Department of Corrections have put together benefits for the House family.According to Tom House, his brother Fred was carrying a $150,000 life insurance policy, which was terminated when he missed the payment before his death. "He was out of state on business for the department to enhance his dog-training credentials when the payment was due, and when he returned he was directly immersed in the Singer-Swapp thing," Tom House said.
Cope, who isn't even acquainted with the House family, organized an evening of entertainment held Monday to raise money for the House children's schooling because he thought it was a good idea. The three children are 8, 5 and 2 years old.
"I just decided that something needed to be done. I wanted to help people remember Fred House and what he did for people." Cope said it seemed reports started to refer to House as `the corrections officer' instead of Fred House.
A handful of Utah celebrities were at the event to attract a crowd, but only about 200 people came. They raised $781 of the $5,000 they had hoped to generate.
KTVX news anchorwoman Karen Carnes was mistress of ceremonies of the program, which included an address by Gov. Norm Bangerter, an Elvis impersonation by Dr. Robert Moody, a one-man show by actor Bryce Chamberlain, singing by Salt Lake City's Taylor family and several Embryo recording acts.
"It was a positive thing for everybody," Cope said. "Everybody was willing to donate their talents and everything. If we only would have had more people."
The program was co-sponsored by Timpview High School, donator of the facilities.
The donation of a Navajo rug also got the Utah Peace Officers Association involved in adding to the educational fund for the House children. A Fredonia, Ariz., merchant Helen Banks gave the rug to the association to help establish the trust fund.
A painting donated by artist Jack Cluff, a set of brass goblets donated by Baum's Glass and the rug will be raffled off at the association's annual summer convention June 18.
People are willing to donate because they say it's a worthwhile cause, said, Brigitte Dawson, Utah Peace Officers Association administrative assistant. Anyone interested in donating can contact the association at 2627 W. 47th South, Salt Lake City.
Trust funds have been set up at Utah State Prison Employees Credit Union and Valley Bank and Trust.
Tom House, a deputy warden of the Utah State Prison Uintah Facility, said $28,000 is contained in one trust fund.
Juan Benavidez, Corrections Department public affairs director, said last week that the department has generated more than $5,000 in the other trust fund.
The department is organizing a Friends of Fred Days with activities July 16 at the State Prison Training Academy. A five-kilometer run, golf tournament, shoot tournament and karate demonstration by some of House's students will be included.
People interested in participating will be asked to pay a $10 entrance fee and can register at any Smith's or 7-Eleven store.
The Friends of Fred organization also is selling T-shirts with a picture of Fred House on the front and hats with the emblem FOF. They are on sale at department headquarters and the Summit and Utah County sheriffs' offices.
The Corrections group raised $300 in its initial T-shirt and hat sale, at the benefit organized by Cope.
Ken Halterman, Friends of Fred group chairman, worked with House and had a close relationship with him, said Cynthia Atkinson, a specialist for corrections investigations.
"We love Fred and know he would want us to do this," she said. "We feel kind of obligated to take care of Ann (House's wife) and the kids. He was like a brother to us. We don't want anyone to forget him and what he stood for."