Dozens of family, friends and community members gathered at The Paseo Club Friday evening for a fundraiser aimed to raise money for the family of Michelle Dorsey, who was killed earlier this month.
The fundraiser, which was organized by Danielle Quemuel, a friend of Dorsey and spokeswoman for the family, included several vendors and a silent auction in order to help Dorsey’s three sons and her mother, who is now raising the children.
“We wanted to organize something as big as we could to get the family, people and the community involved to help and raise money for (Dorsey’s) family,” Quemuel said.
She added a friend of hers who is the owner of Monika’s Tacos, who catered food at the fundraiser, originally talked about having a drive-thru fundraiser of some sort before ultimately deciding on hosting a fundraiser that featured multiple local vendors and a silent auction.
Vendors at the fundraiser included Damsel in Defense self-defense products, cupcakes and ice cream from Paleta Please and Usborne Books.
“The community here has been awesome,” said Cheryl Smith, Dorsey’s mother who is now raising her three children. “(Quemuel) has gone above and beyond, we couldn’t ask for anything more. (Quemuel) did at all and it’s been so good to be surrounded by all these people, and the community.”
Along with the vendors, dozens of gift baskets were lined up for a silent auction. Winners of the silent auction are going to be contacted Saturday, according to organizers.
Quemuel said she swiftly planned the fundraiser within about a week in order to help Smith “as soon as possible.”
“This is a long road for (Smith),” Quemuel said. “She’s the boys’ grandma, but now she has to start all over again now with raising kids since she’s going to be raising them.”
Dorsey, a 39-year-old Saugus resident, was allegedly stabbed by her estranged husband, Jack Dorsey, in the early hours of April 15 as the three children slept. Dorsey was transported to the hospital where she died of her injuries shortly after.
James Matthew Dorsey, her estranged husband, has been accused of one count of murder, attempted kidnapping, residential burglary, evading police and resisting a law enforcement officer and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrest records.
“It’s been so emotionally hard,” Quemuel said. “At the moment I’m not able to process everything because I’ve been into organizing this, but today feels amazing because I’m seeing all these people come out. I’m thankful I was able to do this, but it also kills me that I had to do this for a friend.”