Scholarships set up in memory of slain Jupiter girl

By Al Pefley - email

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - Two local organizations are setting up scholarship funds in memory of a little girl, murdered with three of her relatives on Thanksgiving.

Makayla Sitton, 6, of Jupiter was taking piano lessons at Jupiter Academy of Music. Her teacher says she was a talented child who loved the piano.

She also took ballet lessons at the Esther Center at the Florida Classical Ballet Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens.

"She is probably one of the most remarkable students I have ever had the privilege to teach," said Sandra Baran, founder of the Jupiter Academy of Music.

"She was one of the most gifted students we ever had on campus, so to speak. An unbelievable child," said Colleen Smith, artistic director of the Florida Classical Ballet Theatre.

Both organizations hope the scholarships in Makayla's memory will help other deserving youngsters who might not otherwise get to take piano or ballet lessons. Any money they receive will be used for children whose parents may lack the financial means to pay for lessons.

Makayla and three relatives were shot and killed last Thursday night at the Sitton family's home in Jupiter. Paul Merhige of Coral Gables is being sought by police.