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Fundraisers Honor Manhattan Beach Car Accident Victims

Nov 29, 2021 09:04AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A series of fundraisers seek to honor the lives of the three victims of the fatal November 23 car accident in Manhattan Beach.

The accident took the lives of educator Christian Mendoza, 48; and husband and wife nonprofit leaders Katie-Jay Scott Stauring, 40, and Gabriel Stauring, 55; all of Redondo Beach.

Christian Mendoza

Mendoza was the newly named principal of the Bennett-Kew P-8 Leadership Academy in the Inglewood School District. He was described by Inglewood USD County Administrator Erika F. Torres as a lifelong educator and a "beloved member of our IUSD community."

He is survived by his wife and two children.

Family friend Megan Anderson wrote on a fundraising page created for the Mendoza family: "He fought for under-represented individuals in the education system, giving a voice to individuals from elementary school students to college students. Using his Adjunct Professor position and his new position as a principal, Christian planned on continuing to use this voice to help advocate for equity in academia. For those that did have the blessing of knowing Christian, you know how much family meant to him. His children and wife were everything to him, just the same as he was to them."

Katie-Jay Scott Stauring and Gabriel Stauring

Katie-Jay Scott-Stauring and Gabriel Stauring were both leaders of the Redondo Beach-based iACT, which provides humanitarian action to aid, support, and extend hope to those affected by mass atrocities.

Scott was executive director of iACT, overseeing international and national programs and campaigns, partnerships, fundraising and development, advocacy and policy for the organization.

Stauring was founder and "chief of vision and strategy" for iACT. He was a longtime activist and advocate for supporting populations displaced by genocide and mass atrocities.

Scott was returning from a three-week mission at a refugee camp in Greece. The car accident that took her and her husband's life occurred on their drive home from the airport. Their 9-year-old daughter survived the deadly collision. (They have three children.)

"Katie Jay and Gabe worked tirelessly, often without pay, to make the world a better place. They left behind a visionary organization and a beautiful family," wrote family friend Kalli Knight, who organized a GoFundMe page to support the family.

A friend and neighbor has set up a page to donate to iACT in their memory here.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

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