LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Chris and Debbie Davis live a new life these days.
“I don’t think it will ever heal but you have to find a path forward,” said Debbie Davis.
Their daughter, 47-year-old Neysa Davis Tonks, was killed in the October 1st, 2017 mass shooting. Now, the Davis’ co-parent their three grandchildren.
“Our daughter was taken from us in a very evil way and for no reason that anyone can figure out,” Debbie said.
Their search for answers led them on a different journey.
“My first inclination was ‘I don’t want to breathe anymore. I’m done’. You don’t get to be done. Other people need you.”
The Davis’ started The Children of the 58: Loved and Never Forgotten Fund to help other children go to college.
So far, they’ve raised $5,000 per child toward tuition for accredited colleges, universities or trade schools.
Neysa Davis Tonks was a single mother of three boys who excelled as a technology professional. According to her family, while she did not attend college, she worked hard to ensure her children studied their best and made college a part of their future plans.
Their hope is to help the 58 victims’ surviving children cope with tragedy while providing a path toward a bright future.
“We feel the need to offer incentive for the children of the 58 victims to find a path forward in the education process so they can find pride, independence and confidence in a life that could otherwise cripple them after such a tragedy,” the family says. “This tragedy cannot be what defines them.”
Neysa’s family believes the fund will help the children who may not otherwise have the means to pursue a higher education. The goal is to help them honor their parents as they “transition to adulthood and prepare for a career and a future.””Let’s do something that’s going to bring a light to this darkness,” Chris Davis said.
This scholarship program is separate from the established Las Vegas Victims Funds and is intended to support the children’s education. Those interested in applying for the scholarship must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
- Must have been 21-years-old or younger on October 1, 2017
- Scholarship is intended for tuition at an accredited college, university of trade school
The Davis’ hope some good may come from the terrible evil so many people experienced that day.
“We feel better and it’s because we’re helping somebody else get through this,” Chris said.
To make a donation, please visit the Children of the 58 Foundation’s website.