Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Scholarship fund keeps memory of slain Rockford teens alive

By Guy Stephens

ROCKFORD – The memory of two Rockford teenagers killed by their father in February is being kept alive through a scholarship program. A benefit concert for the fund takes place Wednesday night at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles

Heidi Ruckman began working to create the Chris and Jack Ruckman Music Scholarship Fund not long after her children’s deaths at the hands of her former husband, Peter Ruckman. She said 14-year-old Chris and 12-year-old Jack were talented musicians and music played a big part of their lives. She wanted to honor that legacy and create something positive out of the tragedy by giving back to others.

“So that children,” Ruckman said, “that maybe weren’t as fortunate as mine were to be exposed to music can really explore and enjoy the love that they have for music.”

Ruckman said, to start, scholarships will go to graduating high school seniors for whom music has had a positive impact on their lives. She said she hopes, as it grows, the fund also can help children who can’t afford instruments or band camp.

The lineup for the Arcada concert includes The Davenport Project and Harlan Jefferson, with whose band Chris Ruckman played.

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