Friday, December 21, 2012

Tampa Bay events help families in Newtown

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Salon.com
  • Salon.com
In the wake of one of the most horrific and deadly school shootings in history, a slew of analyses and criticisms have come to light — discussions of gun laws, care for the mentally ill and school safety among them. As we search for answers, The nation mourns and has kept the families of the victims in their thoughts and prayers.

Although the political issues tied to the Sandy Hook tragedy must be addressed at some point, we have a heavier obligation in this stage of fresh wounds — to offer peace of mind and support to the families who have lost loved ones.

Twenty-six people lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 — six teachers and 20 students; each of the 20 students only 6-7 years old. Here in Tampa Bay, we are hearing the cries of Newtown families.

Fortunately, the worst circumstances bring out the best in us, and people across the U.S. are coming together to show support. Here in Tampa Bay, businesses are finding ways to contribute to the families of the victims, and you can help them by attending their events this weekend.

Today, a fundraising event by St. Pete for Newtown and Well Played Events will be held at the St. Petersburg Museum. Benefiting the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, admission will be a $20 suggested donation for a night of musical entertainment, a silent auction and an variety of catering courtesy of numerous Tampa Bay restaurants. To volunteer for this event, contact Jenni Parrish at 770-710-5798 or via email jenniparrish@ymail.com.

Bay Area memorials will surely continue for some time, as this is not a tragedy easily forgotten. A Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial Half Marathon and 5K taking place through Jan. 31 challenges anyone from any city to run, walk, swim, bike or any other method they see fit. You may complete the miles all at once, or by intervals through completion date — this event uses the honor system, so miles do not have to be reported.

In an effort to raise money for victim, registration fee for the Half Marathon is $30 while registration for the 5K is $20. With this fee, a bib, finisher’s medal and extra goodies will be mailed to you. To find out more about this event, visit www.active.com.

Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Clearwater, Oldsmar and New Port Richey will host a fundraiser and banner signing all day tomorrow, Dec. 22. A 10 percent donation from the day's sales and a banner with staff and guests' messages will be sent to the school to show support.

To donate directly to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, go to newtown.uwwesternct.org.

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