Kim Swartz surprised reward hasn't helped in Xiana case.
Kim Swartz has been active in many communities searching for missing children. Nuggets like Chris' Club owner Joe Klingensmith are few, but needed in the constant quest for raising money and attention.
By Richard Freedman,© 2000, Vallejo Times-Herald staff writer
"Joe has been phenomenal in all of his efforts to help," said Swartz. "He keeps trying to think of ways to keep this going."
"This" means the interest and fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Xiana Fairchild Volunteer Center, as the missing 7-year-old hasn't been seen for 126 days. Chris' Club will host a dinner and wine tasting Saturday with a blues jam session starting at 4 p.m.
Despite mediocre advance ticket sales, Swartz remained hopeful that Vallejo and surrounding cities will continue their support.
"People do get a burnout syndrome," she said. "But keep in mind it is a dinner and wine tasting. People have to eat. So you're hearing us out and getting a good meal and a good deal."
It's important, Swartz added, "that you should show the family you're not giving up. If it was your kid, you wouldn't want anyone to turn your back. I know we're not giving up."
Swartz, a missing children's advocate since her daughter, Amber, vanished 11 years ago, said she's surprised the $75,000 reward in Xiana's case hasn't led to a suspect.
"It's a lot of money," Swartz said. "One would think that could buy someone a new life away for awhile where nobody else could find them."
Klingensmith has done his part to contribute, said Swartz, as benefits at the Vallejo tavern have raised more than $10,000.
"Luckily, I have to say there usually is one business person in a community who seemingly takes the lead," Swartz said. "We're always in hope other businesses will see that and think of something they can do."
Swartz put out her own plea.
"If you know where Xiana is, you need help," she said. "Get hold of me. Somehow, I'll get you help."
Bottom line, Swartz said, "we need to know where that little girl is."
While still focused on Xiana's disappearance, Swartz has shifted some gears to Hayward, where the parents of murdered 14-year-old Fa'asisilla try to raise reward money that they hope will lead to information.
"This boy was written off as a runaway and found dead three days later," said Swartz. "He was written off as an accidental suicide. He didn't get himself in that position by himself. I'm sure the parents are very frustrated. Their fear is that whoever had done this will do it again."
Half of the revenue from an upcoming spaghetti feed dinner for the Xiana volunteer center will go to the Fa'asisilla fund, Swartz said, as approved by Xiana's great-aunt, Stephanie Kahalekulu.
"It's nice of Stephanie to offer that," said Swartz, who praised Kahalekulu for her unfailing devotion to the missing child.
"Someone's got to be there to speak up for Xiana," Swartz said. "Someone has to keep Xiana's face and her story out there, just like what I've done with Amber. She's committed herself to getting some kind of closure."
Tickets for the dinner, wine tasting and blues jam at Chris' Club on Saturday are $15. The club is at 656 Benicia Road, Vallejo. For more information, call 648-9257.