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Student wins raffle, gives it all for Krystal

Jill Darby

With all of the sadness that has recently plagued South Shore, it’s nice to know that random acts of kindness still exist.

Elisa Basaglia, an 18-year-old exchange student from Brazil, proved just how far a little thoughtfulness can go.

A guest at the March 24 meeting of the Tahoe-Douglas Rotary Club, Basaglia won $440 in the weekly raffle.



“She turned right around and donated it to the family of the little girl that was murdered,” Rotarian Klaus Utecht said. “The rest of us would have pocketed it and walked out and never thought of it. And the president even said, ‘You could just donate $100.’ But there was no question in her mind. She wanted to give all of it.”

Basaglia had a very simple reason for donating the full amount of her winnings to the Elizabeth Steadman Fund. Steadman’s 9-year-old daughter Krystal was murdered two weeks ago.



“I don’t need the money and they need it, so I wanted to give it to them,” Basaglia said.

Tahoe-Douglas Rotary President Rick Lusby commended Basaglia’s deed publicly at the March 31 Rotary meeting.

“She did a real humanitarian thing,” Lusby said to the group. “She gave (the check) back to the club so we could write a check for Krystal Steadman’s funeral fund.”

Rotarian Melanie Norman is known for winning the raffle on a regular basis, a fact which has become a running joke among club members.

The Rotarian bulletin’s coverage of the March 24 meeting included: “Due to Melanie Norman’s absence, our exchange student Elisa won the raffle.”

Norman said she couldn’t be happier with the outcome of events.

“I’m glad Elisa won the raffle,” Norman said. “I don’t know if the rest of us would have thought to be so giving. She’s really sweet and just a pleasure to be around.”

Norman is the first of many getting in line to attest to Basaglia’s character.

“She’s a marvelous young lady and she’s been a wonderful exchange daughter,” said Clay Warnock, who is one of Basaglia’s host families. “Quite frankly, our world is in pretty good hands if this is a sample of who is going to lead us in the future. She’s just terrific. And I’m understating that. I can’t say enough about her.”

Currently Basaglia is staying with Ron and Nancy Sharp.

“Elisa is a very warm, giving and kind person,” Nancy Sharp said. “She told me what she did and I just said, ‘Elisa, that is so special, why did you do that?’ And her response to me was, ‘I know they could use the money more than I could.’ She’s very special.”

The Elizabeth Steadman Fund is still open and donations can be made at Wells Fargo. After covering funeral expenses, Steadman’s mother plans to donate the remainder of the money to Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have lost children as a result of illness, accidental death or murder.


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