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Billboards and events raise money for murdered Tampa mom's autistic son

Clear Channel Outdoor has donated eight billboard spaces in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties to help increase public donations to help Larsen Hunt’s son, Aidric, who has autism.

Special to the Times

Clear Channel Outdoor has donated eight billboard spaces in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties to help increase public donations to help Larsen Hunt’s son, Aidric, who has autism.

TAMPA — It's what strangers have volunteered to do that surprised the Hunt family the most.

Larsen Hunt, 25, was gunned down in her Seminole Heights home Oct. 26. Police say her former boyfriend, Jason Skinner, shot her before dying himself in a fiery car crash in St. Petersburg less than two hours later.

The murder left 5-year-old Aidric Hunt without his mom, who had devoted her life to caring for her autistic son.

Three days later, Clear Channel Outdoor called her brother, Matthew Hunt, asking what it could do to help.

The family agreed on billboards advertising a trust fund set up for the boy at Bank of America, said Richard Hunt, Larsen Hunt's father.

The company announced Wednesday that eight billboards in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties will be donated to the Aidric Hunt Assistance Fund.

The locations include the Veterans Expressway, Dale Mabry Highway and Fletcher Avenue.

Richard Hunt said the billboards are the newest in a list of ways the community has reached out to his grieving family.

The gym Larsen Hunt attended offered to donate proceeds of a weight-lifting competition to Aidric's fund. A friend built a website to tell Richard Hunt's daughter's story and collect donations for his grandson. And a Hills­borough High alum started a memorial page on Facebook.

"First and foremost we're hunkering down with Aidric trying to make it as sane as possible for him," Richard Hunt said. "It's just humbling."

The trust's administrator, Bank of America, has set up the fund so money can be withdrawn only with invoices and receipts detailing an expense for Aidric, Hunt said. "It's being done the right way. The money can only be used for Aidric's needs," he said.

Aidric, Hunt and his wife, Susan, have moved back into the home where his daughter died.

"We talked and reminisced as we walked through the house," he said. "And when we went through … the spirit of God just fell on us. There was a healing in the family. We were still hurting."

The family held a funeral Saturday for Larsen Hunt, who worked as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at Tampa General Hospital. Hospital workers held their own memorial Tuesday in an auditorium. A plaque honoring her will be placed in the new NICU, Richard Hunt said.

Now, the family's focus has turned to Aidric, who needs stability more than ever.

Hunt, 58, owns a cabinet-making business and said business has been tough for the past two years. His wife is a school secretary.

"Not to sound militaristic, but we've dedicated our lives to him," Hunt said.

To donate

Visit hope4aidric.org/autism.htm or any Bank of America branch to donate to the Aidric Hunt Assistance Fund. Celebrity bartenders will collect tips to donate to the fund at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at 717 South at 717 S Howard Ave. in Tampa.

Billboards and events raise money for murdered Tampa mom's autistic son 11/03/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:31pm]
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