Skylar Neese scholarship will assist aspiring lawyers

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Skylar Neese memorial fund will provide scholarship money to aspiring WVU law students.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Three years after her brutal murder, the family of Skylar Neese wants to help aspiring lawyers in their daughter’s name.

“Her dream was to go to law school. That’s what she was going to do. She was going to become a lawyer. If you ever argued with her, you’d see why. She was great,” reminisced Dave Neese, the father of the 16-year-old stabbed to death in 2012.

Two girls who had been friends with Skylar are in prison for her murder. Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy lured the honor student from her Star City home in July 2012. They later stabbed her to death and left her body in a wooded area across the West Virginia state line in Greene County, Pennsylvania.

Friends of the Neese family who belong to the Mountain Renegade motorcycle club organized an annual ride in Skylar’s name. The 2015 Skylar Neese Memorial Poker Run is scheduled for Saturday, June 20.

“We just thought it was a great opportunity for us to do something for her and for the family and the community. This will be the third year doing it. It’s just getting bigger every year,” explained Russ Lemasters, family friend and Mountain Renegade member.

Skylar Neese was initially considered a runaway following her disappearance. Six months later, Shoaf admitted she and Eddy fatally stabbed their University High School classmate.

Through the investigation and subsequent court proceedings, Dave and Mary Neese received endless support locally, statewide and nationally.

Following a $10,000 gift Saturday from a New York school where students held fundraisers in Skylar’s honor after learning of her death, a donation account for the family will be turned into a scholarship fund.

“Before, it was just helping us out. Now, it’s going towards a child’s education,” said Dave Neese.

An 83-mile ride will take bikers from Monongalia County through Preston County ending with a dinner and prizes. Riders are encouraged to wear soft colors. Purple and green were Skylar’s favorite colors according to her father.

“The big thing about the Skylar run is because we’ve all known Dave for years. We just want to contribute back and make sure she wasn’t forgotten,” Lemasters said.

Money raised will help with tuition expenses for a West Virginia University law school student.

Huntington Bank branches will accept donations for the scholarship fund.