Press Release: Placer DA programs receive donations from Justine's Fund, 1/7/10

January 07, 2010
Bradford R. Fenocchio

District Attorney


10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678

For Immediate Release
Date: January 7, 2010


Art Campos

Public Information Officer


Scott Owens

Assistant District Attorney




The Placer County District Attorney’s Office and its Victim Services program have each received $4,000 in donations made by a fundraising organization established in the memory of a 17-year-old Christian Valley girl who was murdered in 2003.

The contribution to the District Attorney from Justine’s Fund, named in honor of Justine Vanderschoot and designed to provide donations to Placer County law enforcement agencies and programs, is expected to be used for the updating of equipment for breath tests administered in drunken driving cases.

Meanwhile, the District Attorney’s Victim Services program will use its $4,000 for the printing of booklets that are given to local area teenagers about relationships and how to tell whether they are healthy or abusive.

“The Placer County District Attorney’s Office and its staff has overwhelming integrity and support for the families amongst our community,” Justine’s father, Don Vanderschoot, said. “It gives us great pleasure to seek donations for the services that they provide.”

Vanderschoot’s wife, Lynnette, said Justine’s Fund also gave $5,000 to the Placer County Sheriff’s Department and $4,000 to the Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy.

Since forming Justine’s Fund in 2004, the Vanderschoot's have awarded $80,000 to Placer agencies or programs, she said.

Lynnette Vanderschoot said the donations are a way to give something back to the agencies that helped her family get through the ordeal of their daughter’s murder and the judicial process that resulted in the conviction of the two men who committed the crime.

One of the murderers was Justine’s jealous ex-boyfriend. The other was the ex-boyfriend’s roommate. Both men are now serving lengthy prison sentences.

“The Placer agencies didn’t know us at all when the tragedy happened,” Lynnette Vanderschoot said. “But they were there for us from the very beginning. To this day, they have remained great friends with us.”

Annually since 2004, Justine’s Fund has sponsored a dinner-dance to raise the majority of funds that are ultimately awarded to the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Victim Services program and the Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy.

This year’s dinner-dance is scheduled for April 17 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased by calling 530-878-4911.

The donations allow the Placer law enforcement agencies and programs to purchase equipment, supplies or services that were not earmarked for funding in the county’s annual budget.

Assistant District Attorney Scott Owens was grateful that the Vanderschoot's had once again made contributions to the law enforcement community.

“It is absolutely heartwarming how the Vanderschoot's manage to make such incredible donations to these agencies,” Owens said. “We have used donations in the past to print and distribute a booklet about Justine’s story at high school job fairs and other events.

“The teenage girls always find it quite compelling. I believe the booklets play a role in helping to reduce the incidents of domestic violence one person at a time.”

Patsie Fletcher, advocate for the Victim Services program, said, “If it weren’t for those donations, we would not be able to get those booklets out to the schools and to other agencies that assist our teens.”