As the one-year anniversary of Kelly Rothwell's disappearance nears, a Palm Harbor restaurant is hosting a benefit to raise money to continue the search for her.
Rothwell went missing March 12, 2011 after having lunch with her friend, Donna Scharrett in Clearwater. That day, Rothwell had told Scharrett that she was going to end her relationship with her boyfriend David Perry, a retired corrections officer who Rothwell shared a condo with in Indian Rocks Beach.
Friends of Rothwell will also be in Largo on March 12 at a press conference held by Sheriff Gualitieri. The sheriff will give an update on the case from when the investigation began to now.
Donna Scharrett is a Palm Harbor resident and has remained dedicated to Rothwell, Scharrett and another friend, Ellen Eckstein organized Saturday's fundraiser at Tiffany's Family Restaurant in Palm Harbor.
Eckstein works at Tiffany's and has also helped in searches for Rothwell. She asked her boss, Paul Hittos, if the restaurant could host Saturday's fundraiser and he agreed. Tiffany's restaurant has been a supporter of Rothwell search efforts, providing more than a hundred sandwiches and water to searchers at a past event.
"Paul's been beyond wonderful," said Eckstein.
Admission to the event is $10 which also gets you food and drinks. You can also buy additional tickets for $1 which can be used toward a car wash, bake sale and raffle at the fundraiser. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Kelly Rothwell Search Fund.
Eckstein thinks the fundraiser will have a good turnout. She's happy to be able to help, "It feels fabulous. It's self-fulfilling in the fact that you know you're helping," she said.
is located at 35000 U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor. (727) 785-9530. The fundraiser begins at 12:30 p.m. Admission is $10
If you are unable to attend, donations can be made online at-