Benefit to help out children whose moms were killed earlier this year

SUWANEE -- Just over a month after Katie Hulsey witnessed the murder of her mother, the sound of thunder gave her a fright.

That is, until a reassurance from a friend turned the child's imagination to her mother at a bowling party in heaven.

Next Saturday, friends and family of 5-year-old Katie and her 9-month-old sister Kenzie are holding a fundraiser to help the youngsters, along with 6-year-old Shyanne Griffin, whose mother was also killed in the May domestic violence attack in Suwanee.

"They both seem to be coping just fine," said Anita DeNicola, the director of Today's Kids of Suwanee, where the oldest children attend day care. "They have good family support, and they have us."

The day care is like a family, said DeNicola, explaining that Shyanne's mother Deanna Griffin worked there and Tiffany Hulsey, Katie and Kenzie's mom, had worked there in the past.

"You never expect something like this to happen. ... You never think it's going to strike like this at home," she said. "It's been very, very tough."

The benefit will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. at Peace, Love & Pottery, which is owned by another mother whose children once attended the day care. Proceeds from the evening's activities will benefit the kids, who are now being cared for by other relatives.