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Ferndale Area Fundraisers for Murdered Fighter’s Family

Ferndale Area Fundraisers for Murdered Fighter’s Family sidebar012stairs

(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 29, 2014)

Family and friends from Detroit to LA are remembering Justin Schalk who was murdered on April 14 in California. The 40-year-old Ferndale native went to school in both Ferndale and Berkley and has ties throughout the area from his family’s involvement in youth wrestling programs.

Schalk had been living in Los Angeles working as a trainer and participating in MMA fights. His body was seed015_kathryn_balcerfound in the desert, in a car that was on fire. Two people have been arrested under suspicion of murder, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.

“Smile now, cry later,” is the mantra of those who are striving to stay strong for the sake of his mother and children, and managing the stresses that come with waiting for the justice system to give them answers.

“Smile now, cry later” was also tattooed across Schalk’s neck.

A memorial was held April 26 at the Venice Beach Pier in California by Schalk’s LA family. Always proud of his Detroit roots, Schalk often wore clothes with the iconicseed012_francine_hachem Old English D. In his memory 250 balloons with his name and the D, and messages tied to the stings, were let go at sunset over the ocean.

There are also three fundraisers scheduled in the Ferndale area to cover Schalk’s memorial and to provide some care for his two young children.

May 1st – Hazel Park Bowl, 7pm, $20 door fee includes bowling

May 16th – House of Shamrocks, 9pm

May 18th – Rosie O’Grady’s in Ferndale, 1pm, $20 for adults, $10 for kids (includes seed030_Laurinda Rosspizza, pasta, salad etc.)

And a fundraising page has been set up at

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