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Oprah Donates to Hacking Fund

Oprah Donates to Hacking Fund

Posted - Sep. 14, 2004 at 6:53 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Oprah Winfrey got an interview with the mother of presumed murder victim Lori Hacking and the Lori Hacking memorial scholarship fund got a $50,000 donation from Winfrey.

Winfrey conducted the one-hour interview with Thelma Soares of Orem on Monday for broadcast Tuesday.

The donation pushes the fund to $81,000, exceeding the $75,000 minimum necessary to endow a tuition scholarship at the University of Utah.

Soares started the scholarship fund with $12,500 in donations she received from people throughout the world following the search for her daughter, who was reported missing July 19 by her husband.

Lori Hacking's husband, Mark Hacking, is charged with her murder.

Authorities allege he shot her in her sleep and threw her body in a trash bin. The slaying occurred after the woman apparently discovered her husband had lied about graduating from the university and being accepted at a North Carolina medical school.

Officers resume the search of the Salt Lake County Landfill for her body Tuesday. In the past they have used cadaver dogs in the search, but now police officers will carefully sift through the more than 4,000 tons of trash.

Lori Hacking graduated from the university in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in management. She had worked to pay her own way through school.

Soares has said her daughter thought education was the way to independence, and she felt the scholarship would be a fitting way to memorialize her.

The scholarship to be awarded to a woman in the David Eccles School of Business to provide tuition for her junior and senior years. It is intended to assist women who have been disadvantaged by financial hardship, abuse, family difficulties or other life circumstances, the university said.

Business Dean Jack Brittain attended the taping of the "Oprah" show Monday, said university fund-raiser Jeff Driggs.

The show included taped segments with Lori Hacking's father, Hareld Soares, and one of her friends, according to Harpo, Oprah's production company.

The university hopes to continue receiving donations to the scholarship fund and has placed its goal at $100,000.

Donations can be made on the university's Web site, http://www.utah.edu.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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