Updated Jul 16, 2012 - 7:42 pm
Shacknai mother announces child safety charity
Dina Shacknai, the ex-wife of Scottsdale pharmaceutical tycoon Jonah Shacknai, announced Monday the creation of Maxie's H.O.U.S.E., an organization to help protect the safety of children living in more than one household.
According its website, the foundation's mission is "to uphold and promote the physical and emotional safety of our children living in more than one home by offering a national resource center, programs, and other forms of support."
Maxie's H.O.U.S.E. is a non-profit designed to protect children whose parents are divorced. H.O.U.S.E. is an acronym for Hope, Outreach, Understanding, Safety and Education. The foundation will also attempt to change laws in order to protect children who must live in dual homes.
On July 6, 2011 Max Shacknai, 6, fell from a second-floor staircase at the historic Coronado Island Spreckles Mansion. Max was alone in the house with Jonah Schacknai's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau.
"While I requested that Max never be left alone with Rebecca, as we know, this was the case on the day of my son's death," said Dina Shacknai. "This is exactly why we founded Maxie's H.O.U.S.E. Maxie's legacy reminds of how undeniably important it is that every child have the right to be safe in their own home, wherever that home is."
Two days after the boy's death, Zahau was discovered hanging -- bound and naked -- from a balcony in the same mansion.
Max's death was ruled an accident, however, that has stopped Dina Shacknai from finding out more information surrounding the suspicious set of circumstances.
"We are certain that the accident scenario put forth by the Coronado Police Department is inaccurate," said Dina Shacknai's lawyer, Angela Hallier.
While details of a private investigation have not been released, those findings have been forwarded to Coronado Police.
"Based on their previous interaction with us, I feel certain they will positively respond to our outreach to speak with them," said Hallier.
Unfortunately, more kids are forced to adapt to two different households.
"Always be open and sensitive to a child's needs," said DeAnne Davies, Director of Healthy Steps at Summit Healthcare. "Gage how the child is doing in that environment. If the child is having problems or difficulties, seeking some outside guidance or help maybe."
According to Davies, another important piece to the co-parenting puzzle is to leave adult issues out of the child's life.
Sandra Haros , Reporter