KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A Sunnyside mother and grandmother is honored for her courage and strength. Her daughter was shot and killed this past summer and now takes care not only of her own children but also six grandchildren.
On July 29th of 2007, police say 26-year-old Veronica Ayala was shot and killed. Sunnyside police's prime suspect is 25-year-old Eric Flores of Grandview but he has yet to be found. Since then, Veronica's mother, Diane Cantu, has provided support for her three children as well as a home for the six children Veronica left behind.
Diane Cantu and her family say they have shared a lot of tears but grown strong together after they lost Veronica. Thursday night, Cantu was cheered and appreciated for her strength. Cantu has a job, is going to school, and providing for six grandchildren.
The local chapter of the Soroptimist Club gave her the Woman's Opportunity Award, which when coupled with another award gives her $3,500 to use toward continuing her education.
Her son Jessie says he and his family are very appreciative to their mom for all she has done.