Organization holds fundraiser at Bob Evans restaurants on Thursday, encourages all to eat there

CLEVELAND - Loved ones of a family gunned down in a Brooklyn Cracker Barrel more than one year ago have launched a local organization to help victims of domestic violence.

“We’ve been, for a few months now, providing financial gifts to women and their children as they move out of the crisis center and into their new home,” said Mark Karr, president of the New Life-Hew Hope Foundation.

Karr and his family were close friends with the Allen family of Strongsville. On April 12, 2012, Kevin Allen shot his wife and two young daughters inside a Brooklyn Cracker Barrel while celebrating one of the daughter’s birthdays. The wife and one of the daughters were killed instantly. The other daughter died about a month later. Kevin, whom police killed as he fled the scene, had a long history of violence against women.

Karr’s New Life-New Hope Foundation works with Cleveland’s Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center to assist victims of domestic violence purchase much-needed household items as they start their lives over.

“When the women leave the shelter, they’re going to apartments and they have nothing,” said Chris Hansen, director of the battered women’s shelter at the advocacy center. “They don’t have a can opener, they don’t have sheets, towels.”

The foundation’s next fundraiser is Thursday, Dec. 5. It’s teaming up with Bob Evans restaurants. All northeast Ohio restaurants will donate 15 percent of sales when diners present this flyer .

If you’re a victim of domestic violence, you’re encouraged to call the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center at 216-391-HELP.

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