T-shirt sales to benefit Seal Beach victims' families

The new line at Affliction Clothing in Seal Beach features the most hopeful of designs for the most devastating of causes.

Inside the front entrance of the store at 1799 Apollo Court are mannequins sporting men's and women's versions of a blue T-shirt that features a white heart and the words "Seal Beach—Support In Love."

Affliction has sold about 1,200 of the shirts since they went on sale in late October.

But none of the proceeds go to the store. Affliction designed the $20 shirts along with the Seal Beach Police Department, and all money raised goes to the single survivor and the family members of the Oct. 12 Salon Meritage shooting.

Eight people, including Huntington Beach residents Laura Elody and Lucia Kondas, died in the massacre, the worst in Orange County history. Suspected shooter Scott Dekraai, also from Huntington Beach, pleaded not guilty in November.

"We have people who come in and thank us for doing a fundraiser," said Rachel Cooper, a member of Affliction's public relations team. "We have people who put the shirt on in the dressing room and want to wear it out of the store."

The store forwards proceeds from the shirts to the Seal Beach Victims' Fund, a group overseen by representatives from the city, the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and J.R. Watson & Associates, the owner of the building containing Salon Meritage.

Seth Eaker, the community liaison for the fund and a member of its board of trustees, said the funds may go to the families of the deceased as well as one victim who survived the shooting and others who were present when it occurred.

The trustees decide by consensus how much to allot to different recipients, he said.

Eaker added that the group has already distributed about $150,000 among the victims. None of that amount came from the Affliction sales, but rather from other charity T-shirts and clothing items, as well as community and corporate donations.

"On behalf of the trust, it is stunning and remarkable the outpouring of support — from the business community, residents and even nationwide — of people who have stepped forward in a myriad of ways," Eaker said.

The fund will close Dec. 31.


Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

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