LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - At Glory Days Sport Pub, Paul and A.J. Petras' regular order was a brat and double order of French fries.
A meal not served up Sunday, but friends and the community feasted at the Pub as they raised money for a scholarship in honor of Paul and A.J. Petras.
"Even though it's so sad when I think about it, we raised more for a reward fund in a week and a half than what this person stole from Paul and A.J. It just doesn't make any sense," said Mark Schneider, owner of Glory Days.
Schneider has been friends with Paul Petras since elementary school. Even then, Schneider considered his friend a "tech nerd."
"Teachers would come in and ask him to come and fix the problems with the projector or overheads," Schneider said. "He was very intelligent and was always willing to help."
Schneider said it was no surprise Petras went into the photo business.
Sunday's fundraiser was intended to raise money for a reward fund for the person who found the Petras' killer. After police arrested the man they say fits that profile, the reward fund has become a scholarship fund.
"If nothing else, it puts some final closure on all this; that we've done something for somebody in the community who would not otherwise benefit," said Ted Withey an organizer of the event and longtime friend of the Petras family.
Withey was best friends with Paul Petras.
He is helping sell memorial bracelets, door prizes and these buttons for the, memorial scholarship in honor of Paul and his son.
"I believe they would be a little dumfounded to think that we would go to all this, but then again, maybe not, 'cause they would do the same thing," Withey said.
These friends remembering the Petras' generosity and paying it forward to help heal a community's wound.
The Petras family will decide who the memorial fund will go to.
Organizers do not yet have a total of the money raised.
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