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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Ventura

Man Donates Funds to Slain Son's School

March 02, 2000|CATHERINE BLAKE

The father of a boy beaten to death several months ago donated $2,000 to his son's school Wednesday.

About 20 teachers and administrators gathered in the lush garden at Pacific Continuation High School to commemorate 18-year-old student William Zara. The money, which was raised by family, friends and supporters, is meant to help needy students with scholarships and for textbooks.

The group held hands around a vegetable garden filled with African daisies and orange nasturtiums while recalling Zara's contribution at the school and his gentle personality.

In September a group of people wielding baseball bats and shovels beat Zara to death after mistakenly thinking he called police to report noise from a party, authorities said.

His father, Samuel, said the school received the money because education is so important to a young person's development. "I have a tremendous belief in education," Zara said, looking around at the campus. "This is where he grew."

Samuel Zara also reinforced the importance of continuing to donate. "All of these children are like Bill, and I invite everyone to help find the hidden qualities within them by donating."

To donate money to the Bill Zara Scholarship Fund, call the school at 641-5250.

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