Family friends to host Saturday benefit for late Makinzy Smith

Family friends of Makinzy Smith are hosting a benefit event Saturday to help the family offset some funeral expenses.

Smith, 17, was killed last month on Woodleaf Road while crossing the street to catch the school bus. The West Rowan High School junior was struck by a car driven by Barbara Harrison Smith, 57, who was charged with felony passing a stopped school bus.

Jackie Peeler, owner of Kahunas Bar & Grill, is hosting the Saturday event at her establishment. Peeler’s son, Max, was one of Makinzy’s friends. The event will take place from 4-7 p.m.

“I was very close to the family. We’ve been friends for many, many years. I know they are struggling,” she said.

Peeler said she misses the teen and would just like to be able to help the family. She does expect members of Makinzy’s family to attend the benefit.

Blackstone Mountain will perform and there will be games for children. Organizers will also sell chicken plates for $10 that will include half a chicken, baked beans, slaw and rolls. Someone donated cakes that will be sold during a raffle.

Peeler said she also hopes the benefit will bring more awareness of school bus safety.

“I see people on my way to work and drivers are not sure if they should stop. We are trying to come together as a community and heal ourselves,” she said.

Kahunas is located at 3570 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury.

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