Help Support the Family of Shirley Denning

For: Raelin Denning and Daimon Denning
Chandler, AZ
Organizer: Krista Bench
Help Support the Family of Shirley Denning (Raelin Denning and Daimon Denning)
of $40,000 goal.
Raised by 332 donors
82% Complete

The Story

Thank you for visiting this page. The purpose of this site is to help financially support Shirley Denning's two children and due to overwhelming need, the goal has been increased to $40,000. 

Shirley Denning was killed in a car accident on Friday, July 28, 2017 on US93 near Wickenburg, AZ. The accident also took the life of her boyfriend, Alex Iafrate. They were on their way to see Shirley's children play in basketball tournaments in Las Vegas and to visit her mother, Grace. 

As a devoted mother, coach and teacher, Shirley's life was dedicated to children, especially her own daughter and son. While there are no words to describe the tremendous pain being felt by those who loved her, there are ways to help. This site has been set up to allow anyone to contribute financially to Shirley's family. Please help us spread the word. One of her life motto's was "Play Unified, Live Unified" - now is the time for us to come together and be Unified for Shirley

Please also consider giving to the Alex Iafrate Memorial Fund to help his family.

My name is Krista Bench, a longtime friend of Miss Shirley's and fellow basketball mom. I am working with Shirley's family to manage this site and provide updates. My prayers are with Shirley and Alex's families. Please contact me with any questions. 

Thank you on behalf of Shirley's family. All proceeds from this site will go to directly to the family of Shirley Denning.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 14, 2017

Posted on August 14, 2017

Facebook post by Grace Yup on 8/13/17:

I am forever grateful that so many people spoke of the good things Shirley did during her celebration of life. Even though she has been gone for two weeks, people are still planning events to honor her and to help our family. Thank you everyone for the love and support you have shown us. 

Posted on August 8, 2017


Posted on August 8, 2017

Facebook post by Ruth on 8/8/17:

Shirley...Black Rock Coffee in Ocotillo is holding a fundraiser in your honor on Fri, Aug 11. They gracefully are giving 100% of proceeds and tips to help out. What an awesome opportunity for everyone to visit this location and make new friends.

4050 S Alma School Rd, Chandler 85248

Thank you Black Rock Coffee, Bobby and Jeff. Your generosity is much appreciated.

Posted on August 8, 2017


Posted on August 8, 2017

Facebook post by Ruth on Saturday, August 6, 2017: we shared your life with many friends. And many friends wrote about their friendship and love that were not spoken. It was our hopes that Pastor would share how much you inspired our lives and continue to live in our hearts.

I know this is long but please read as it is important:

Ashley Broos

See attached pic...


From Lindsay Taylor niece Regan:

She will always be my teacher in my heart. I will always take care of her the way she took care of us. I will always love her and pray for her. She was my cheer teacher and I will always love her for that. 


Scooby Butler

Friends stick together through all kinds of weather; and familys stick together in All kinds of trouble. "

The best way that I can describe my friend/family Shirley is a friend that would stick by in any weather; she is the type of friend that would stand in a storm, with rain pouring down on her head, holding an umbrella, calmly and carefully, to make sure that my head did not get wet. She would ride through a heat wave, to pick me up, buy me some food, talk to parents and kids ,about the basketball program and about how she love the way I coach her little ones. Shirley did do this for me on more than one occasion. Shirley was much more to me than a friend, She was someone that I would consider my family. When times got tough,and troubles hailed all around, she was one of the person I could rely on to be there. Throughout life there are friends that would come and go, but Shirley and the family was always there. It was almost as if Shirley had a sixth sense about me. Sometimes I would be sitting in the middle of the night, feeling blue, solitary and mad about losing a player of the program, which was like losing family to me and the next morning I would wake up and find an text message from Shirley and Mike, asking me how I was feeling. That is just the type of connection that she and the family had for me. Shirley and I spent over 7 years together, having the kind of friendship and family that most people only dream of. We went through basketball gains and losses together, enjoyed the birth of my baby girl. I named after her daughter, and the hard work and training of her two Angeles Raelin and Daimon. Shirley was a wonderful person, the first to contribute a kind word of thanks, or words of wisdom when one was called for. She wasn't the type of person to call attention to herself, unless she felt it would help alleviate tension in a room where tension or stress was building. She also had a remarkable sense of humor and was always smiling and laughing.

I meet Shirley in a basketball gym. Watching her little girl playing with a lion heart up against a boys teams. I waited to ask her at the end of the game, can I help her train her daughter and would she like to play club basketball with a boys club program. Shirley was full of surprise and from there on out she has been helping me with providing a community outreach program and spending our free time causing trouble at the gym and basketball tournament whenever we can.

Shirley will be truely missed by all of us who loved her, and appreciated her Commitment and Dedication to giving time, devotion, and sincere apprection for people. Regardless of how long she knew them. She was a genuine person that gave not because she had to, but because she wanted to. Thank you so much Shirley, for being such a good person, friend, family, and a great God-Mother to my baby girl, with an abundance of love and generosity.

" An Eternal Memory until we meet again "

Those special memories of you, will always make me smile, If only I could have you back, for just a little while. 

Then we could sit and talk again, just like we used to do, you always meant so much to me, and always will do too.

The fact that you're no longer here, will always cause me pain, but you're Forever in my heart, until we meet again.


Robin Lee

I have had the pleasure of knowing Daimon and Shirley since my son Jalen and Daimon first played against each other on different basketball teams in fourth grade. Since then, Jalen and Daimon became good friends over the years and last year in 7th grade, they finally became teammates at Bogle Junior High. I often say that you can tell what kind of parent a person is by their kids… As you know, Daimon is a GREAT kid. He is so polite, respectful, funny and has always been a great friend to my son - and all of this is a true reflection on Shirley and all the love, time, and care she put into raising her two kids. With all that she was going through, she was truly Super Woman to her kids and to all who knew her.

These last few years, Shirley went through a lot of adversity and stressful times. Things many of us here have or never will experience… Yet, Shirley was a fighter and had grit – she woke up every morning ready to take on any challenge head on each and every day – and she did this for the love she had for her kids. Shirley was also not afraid to ask for help when needed. To Daimon and Raelin, your mom was a shining example of how to persevere through difficult times and come out ahead – she prepared you for all of this so I know you both will persevere just like your mom did and continue to face every day head on and be successful. …And please, just like your mom – ask for help whenever you need it. It’s ok to ask for help and we are here for you…

Shirley would always record ALL her kids’ games and post them to youtube. Jalen and I would often watch the games together just to laugh and listen to Shirley’s excitement and commentary that was also captured in the footage as she held the camcorder! She was so in her element watching her kids play… To Daimon and Raelin, now your mom will always have the BEST seat in the house - up-above, watching you play basketball and also watching you continue to grow up surrounded by love. She was and always will be your biggest fan.


Chhoden Tshering

Rest in love Shirley....

You gave love in abundance,

we promise to cherish forever

you touched our hearts and lives - 

we lift our face to the heavens above 

God has embraced you and your love.

Your strength and resilience

an inspiration to us and ours;

your eyes saw and comforted us

joy and laughter always came spilling

a selfless dedication to your kids and mine.

your loss is timeless,

your smiles live forever

you live in Daimon and Raelin

you live in our hearts

every child, man and woman

Rest in love Shirley.

Let's not rage at the heavens 

for our loss that dumbfounds us

let's trust that God has a plan 

hard as it is ....

so you can rest in love

God give us the grace 

to show Shirley our love

hold her children to our hearts

when grief has settled 

and turned into sorrow 

days, weeks, months and years from now...

God give the the grace 

to set aside our differences 

and pave the path 

for Daimon, Raelin and Mike 

to rise in strength as a family

so Shirley can rest .... in love.

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