It was one of the year's more horrific widely publicized murders. In mid-December, in a case that echoed that of Kitty Genovese, 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn was stabbed to death in front of Club Blur in front of numerous onlookers.
Scheerhoorn had slipped from the grasp of the alleged killer, 33-year-old Lydell Grant, minutes before and was on the run, visibly bleeding from a knife wound to the shoulder. He begged for sanctuary at Club Blur and was reportedly told by a bouncer to "take his shit somewhere else."
Scheerhoorn attempted to find refuge, but that delay was all it took for Grant to catch up with him and finish what he had started. Grant allegedly stabbed him again and again in Blur's parking lot.
According to Scheerhoorn's friend Sara Magnero, dozens of Scheerhoorn's friends came together to honor him after his death to see to it that his seemingly senseless and undeniably terrible death was not in vain. They have formed the Aaron Scheerhoorn Foundation For Change, and the second organizational meeting will be tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the GLBT Community Center (1900 Kane St., use the Silver Street entrance.)
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Magnero says one of the goals is for Montrose bars, clubs, restaurants and other businesses to enter into a safe haven agreement, whereby they will promise not to turn away people in Scheerhoorn's desperate plight. Signatories to the agreement will be given stickers to place in their windows showing that they are safe havens for crime victims. The group is also exploring the relaunch of the (locally) defunct Q-Patrol, a gay-friendly analogue to the Guardian Angels.
"The sad thing is people heard about this stabbing, but they didn't hear all the details," Magnero says. "When they do hear how it happened, they are utterly outraged. This is not acceptable."
Ray Hill is serving as the foundation's temporary chair. All are welcome to attend. Magnero hopes that working together, people can bring Montrose back to what it once was -- both hedonistic and infused with community spirit.