A bank account has been established to benefit the 9-year-old son of Camp Verde science teacher Dawn Tomko, killed Thanksgiving evening in an auto accident in Santa Cruz County, near the Mexican border.
Young Christopher Buchleitner, who suffered leukemia at the age 2, lost his father to suicide in September. With the death of his mother last week, Christopher has been orphaned.
His uncle, David Tomko, says the boy is very bright and is in the gifted program at school and one day will be college-bound. "People have asked what they can do to help, and providing for Christopher's future is the best thing."
Christopher returned to school in Camp Verde Thursday and Friday and the school held a memorial service for Dawn. Now he will travel with his uncle and aunt Jan to New Mexico, where they live, and eventually to Pennsylvania, the family home of both Tomko and Christopher's father Jack Buchleitner.
David Tomko says that the most difficult issues are "the future for Christopher. "He grew up and was raised in this area and all his friends are here. Now he will be relocated. And then, there is the matter of all his recent experiences. It's very hard for a kid."
David says Christopher does not yet have a legal guardian.
Tomko says, "the support from neighbors and the school and the outpouring of support has been very incredible and touching for us."
Contributions may be made to the Dawn Tomko Memorial Account at Wells Fargo Bank.