When I learned Affliction Clothing was making t-shirts to honor victims of the worst mass shooting in Orange County history, I thought, "Uh-oh."
After all, isn't this the MMA-lovun company known for garb with images of skulls, the Grim Reaper and designs that would stain anyone who fell into a puddle of tattoos?
Indeed, it is.
But fear not, ultimate fight fans ...
The Seal Beach-based company is nothing if not a good neighbor and solid community partner. So when the city of Seal Beach disclosed plans to begin fund raising next month for a memorial to honor victims of the October 2011 Salon Meritage massacre, it surprised no one that the Affliction store at 1799 Apollo Court would be the one selling specially designed t-shirts for $20--and forwarding all proceeds toward memorial construction.
And yes, of course the shirts are tasteful:
One shirt features the American flag and the other has a heart. Both designs figure into the original memorial design, which was to feature a flag pole and heart-shaped seating wall for quiet reflection in an area of Eisenhower Park. The flag pole was later dropped over fears it would block views of the pier and nearby beach from the park site.
Tim Kelsey, the Seal Beach city recreation manager and memorial project coordinator, has said if the fund raising fails to cover the entire $100,000 expected cost of the memorial, the Seal Beach City Council may kick in the remainder.
The public can also contribute directly without buying a tee. Checks that note they are memorial donations can be mailed to: Seal Beach City Hall, 211 Eighth St., Seal Beach, CA 90740.
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If the reason for the remembrance is not fresh on the minds of locals now, it will be by March 24, when the mass-murder trial of Scott Evans Dekraai of Huntington Beach is scheduled to begin.
He is accused of storming into Salon Meritage at 500 Pacific Coast Highway on Oct. 12, 2011, and shooting his ex-wife Michelle Marie Fournier, shop owner Randy Lee Fannin, Victoria Ann Buzzo, Lucia Bernice Kondas, Laura Lee Elody, Christy Lynn Wilson, Michele Daschbach Fast and Harriet "Hattie" Stretz. Leaving the salon, Dekraai is alleged to have gunned down David Caouette, who was in the parking lot. Only 73-year-old Stretz, who was getting her hair done by her daughter Laura Elody, survived the massacre.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has said he will seek the death penalty for Dekraai, who authorities claim confessed to causing the bloodshed. Paging Reaper, Mr. Grim Reaper ...