Image courtesy Karen Parker Pruett

Next Amanda Knox fundraiser to be held on Vashon island

Curt Knox, Amanda's father, was raised on Vashon Island

The Vashon Sportsmen's Club on Vashon Island has donated space for a Amanda Knox Defense Fund Benefit the evening of Nov. 20. Knox, a West Seattle resident and current UW student was sentenced Dec. 4 last year to 26 years in an Italian prison for killing her college roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy on Nov. 1, 2007. She will begin her appeal case Nov. 24. Knox, her family, and supporters maintain her innocence.

Why Vashon Island? The fundraiser is being organized by longtime island resident, Karen Parker Pruett. Also, Amanda's father is a former island resident.

"I grew up on Vashon and my parents still live in the house that I grew up in," Amanda's father, Curt, told the West Seattle Herald. "My parents are planning on attending the fundraiser, and my dad will be submitting some artwork for the silent auction."

Amanda's grandfather is a painter and will most likely donate one of his prints, Pruett said.

"Anything that happens on Vashon Island, we're all one or two degrees of separation," said Pruett, who occasionally writes for the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber newspaper.

"Seriously, it tears me up that people on the Island have come together and have been so wonderful and supportive," she said of the planning process, somewhat last-minute. "We're planning a dinner for 300. This thing could cut loose and go nuts."

Pruett said that, in addition to the artwork she will receive from Curt's father, raffle prizes will include two signed copies of the new book she received from Rocco Girlanda, “Take Me With You – Talks with Amanda Knox in Prison."

Girlanda kept a diary of his frequent visits with Knox in her Perugia jail, material for his book. Girlanda is a member of the Party of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the president of a Rome-based foundation that promotes ties between the two countries called the Italy-USA Foundation.

"I am amazed at the amount of interest and support Amanda has been getting lately," her stepfather Chris Mellas told the West Seattle Herald by phone near Perugia, Italy. "I had thought that after the trial was over, people would have lost interest. She is getting more letters of support than ever before, from America, Germany, Korea, Australia, all over the world."

An additional piece on Amanda Knox's slander case and appeals process will soon follow in the West Seattle Herald.

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