Archive for Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Massages to raise funds for survivors in Richmond fire

April 27, 2011


To donate

Patriots Bank

1508 Hwy 59

Princeton, KS 66078

c/o Best-Schendel Family

Ashley Schendel was only a few days away from graduating from massage therapy classes. She worked two jobs and attended classes three times a week at WellSpring School of Allied Health, 947 N.H.

But early Monday, her life changed dramatically. A fire roared through her house in Richmond, killing her husband and three of her four children.

Students at WellSpring are banding together to raise money to help pay for hospital bills and funerals of the four family members.

Practicing massage therapists will give 10-minute chair massages for a minimum $15 donation from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the school.

“It feels good to be doing something. Yesterday when I found out, I felt really useless,” said Madeleine McGeorge, one of Schendel’s classmates.

The fire at Schendel’s house was reported about 1:40 a.m. Monday, and by the time firefighters arrived, the house was engulfed in flames. Ashley Schendel, 25, and 9-year-old Alexis Best escaped the fire. Schendel’s husband, Bryce, 25, as well as Zoey Schendel, 5 months, Jace Best, 6, and Ayden Best, 5, died.

McGeorge, 20, said Schendel hoped to open her own massage therapy business with her sister-in-law about a block from her home. Schendel worked two jobs in nursing homes and traveled almost 50 miles from Richmond to class in Lawrence.

McGeorge said the family had no life insurance, so Schendel must pay for four funerals. She suffered some burns, but her 9-year-old has more severe burns. McGeorge said Schendel probably wouldn’t be able to practice for a while because of her injuries.

Sarah Prentice, 30, said classmates had met some of Schendel’s children and always saw her working extra hard to finish her classes.

“She’s just kind of part of our family,” Prentice said. “This is a huge tragedy, so we want to help out as much as we can.”


elevatemindbodypeace 6 years, 11 months ago

This is great that everyone is pulling together to help Ashley and her daughter. Elevate Massage will also be raising funds for them on Friday night (6 -9p). At our grand opening we will be excepting donations that will go to help Ashley and her daughter in this difficult time.

Lisia 6 years, 11 months ago

In addition to massages, we're also having a bake sale- so if you don't have time for a chair massage, stop by and get a scone, cookies, or cupcake! And help Ashley and her family.

domino 6 years, 11 months ago

My heart breaks for this woman and her child. Such a tragedy! Hope everyone takes advantage of these fundraising projects.

Lisia 6 years, 11 months ago

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to the fund raiser tonight!

Deja Coffin 6 years, 11 months ago

There are also two other fundraisers that I know about for the Schendel family: The first is a raffle for a very nice swing set. It's a $20 donation and 100% of the proceeds will go to the family. The website is The other is a hair cut-a-thon it is on May 22nd 1pm-4pm at the Hairport in Ottawa (1538 S. Main St.) Haircuts and eyebrow waxing are $10 and 100% of the proceeds will go to the family.

I don't know this family personally but my prayers are with them. If you can help, let's try and help as best we can. If money is tight, remember good thoughts and prayers are free.

Lisia 6 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the info! I'll share that with other friends and classmates!

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