Fund-raiser will benefit foundation set up for murder victim
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
A year and a half after a consummate Good Samaritan was murdered in Chester County, grief and outrage have not diminished, but mourners have found a way to honor his propensity for good deeds.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Second Annual Beef and Beer will be held at the Red Clay Room in Kennett Square in memory of Andre J. Dupuis. Tickets are $30 a person and will benefit the Andre J. Dupuis Foundation, set up to fund charitable donations to nonprofits and scholarships to graduating high school seniors.
A motorcyclist looking for his lost sunglasses found Dupuis’ body off of Lees Bridge Road in West Nottingham Township on Aug. 7, 2011. It had been dumped over a guardrail, but got caught on a ledge rather than falling into an inaccessible ravine, police said.
The discovery led to the unraveling of a murderous plot by a western Pennsylvania couple who had targeted Dupuis, whom they met three weeks earlier in a bar. They wanted a vehicle and some cash so they could escape pending charges in western Pennsylvania and flee to Arizona, court documents said.
Melanie Ann Ray, 27, of Polk, and Chandler G. Clark, 21, of Titusville, erroneously believed that the 32-year-old landscaper manager would not be missed right away, especially because he was single and lived in Delaware County.
But Dupuis, a compassionate, family-oriented sports enthusiast, often visited relatives in Chester County, and the discovery mobilized his family, friends, colleagues and law enforcement, all incensed by the brutality and senselessness of the crime. People who knew and loved Dupuis said he would have given the couple whatever they needed, there was no need to kill him.
State police quickly tracked Ray and Clark to Indiana, where they were taken into custody. Both are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Ray told police she and Clark had called Dupuis and asked him for a ride to a friend’s house. Then, according to the plan, Ray feigned illness in a remote area and exited the car while Clark encouraged Dupuis to check on Ray, then told him “that it was not personal and that he needed the keys and the truck” before shooting Dupuis twice, the criminal complaint said.
Dupuis worked as an operations manager at the Media branch of Brickman Group, a national commercial-landscaping company. Colleagues said he earned the respect of all of his associates, including the 20 to 25 workers he supervised.
The Beef and Beer will run from 7 to 11 p.m. Among items that will be auctioned at the benefit are two Flyers’ tickets for the March 30 game against Boston; two Eagles’ tickets for any 2013 game; 2010 Mathews Z7 bow; a helmet signed by Michael Vick; a jersey signed by Brian Dawkins; a condo in St. Thomas for a week; Yuengling Wilson golf bag with $50 gift card to Kildare’s; four tickets to Longwood Gardens; a Daiwa Procyon 7′ML Spinning Rod; and a Daiwa Lexa Spinning Reel.
The Red Clay Room is located at 423 Dalmation Street, Kennett Square, 19438. To purchase tickets online, visit www.chescocf.org or call Stephanie and Jason Wood at 717-548-0339 or Joan and Ozzie Dupuis at 610-494-3334. Checks can be mailed to 73 John Drive, Kirkwood, Pa., 17536.