Grant funds program for special needs children in memory of young COVID-19 victim

One year ago today, on Nov. 3, 2020, Danielle “Dani” Kater, 30, died from COVID-19 complications. A Mt. Zion High School graduate, beloved daughter and cherished wife, Dani’s smile would light up a room. She loved life – including riding her horse, Malcolm.


In her memory, a $5,000 grant was awarded today through The Community Foundation of Macon County to the School for Therapeutic and Recreational Riding (STARR) of Decatur. STARR, a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers, offers therapeutic horseback riding for children with special needs. Currently, the program is also accepting children who have been traumatized by the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, including the loss of a loved one to the virus.

This new grant to STARR further assures that Dani’s legacy lives on in Macon County. In addition, Dani’s husband and parents established the Dani Rubin Kater Memorial Fund for COVID Care at the Foundation last year. The fund provided COVID care kits to individuals who tested positive for the virus to help them monitor their symptoms while recuperating at home. To date, more than $86,800 in donations have been utilized to provide over 2,200 COVID care kits and provide support for voluntary vaccination efforts.