Marylou Anderson and Andrew Tian
Sarasota, Florida -- The Sarasota-Manatee community is still grieving after the senseless death of Taian "Andrew" Tian, the former manager of Sarasota's New Dynasty Chinese Buffet restaurant, who died after a brutal attack by a customer in July.
To address the outpouring of solidarity and offers of assistance, Tian's partner and fiancée, Marylou L. Anderson, has established the Andrew Tian Memorial Trust. According to Anderson, who is also a trustee of the fund, the money raised will go to Tian's son, Beichen Tian, who is in his third year of graduate school at University of Florida.
"Beichen has just begun his third year as a pharmaceutical student," says Anderson. "When he concludes these final two years he may be nearly $100,000 in debt with student loans. We can't erase this tragedy but we can make a difference in the life of Andrew's son. Andrew left behind a high-level job in China for a chance for his son to have a future in the United States. His son meant everything to him."
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Anderson says she's overwhelmed with the show of support she's received from the community. "Andrew was so loved and his story touched so many people. People stop me wherever I am to tell me how sorry they are. So many tell me stories of what Andrew meant to them-and how this senseless violence has affected their own lives." Anderson says that the memorial fund, which she launched in late July, has already raised $10,000.
"We're also very grateful to the local restaurant community," she says. "They've shown us strong, immediate support."
Contributions can be made to the Andrew Tian Memorial Trust, P.O. Box 21465, Sarasota, FL 34231. Or email email@example.com for more info.