Event to benefit families of Sandy Hook victims
BY ENELLY BETANCOURT, Staff Writer
Three Lancaster residents have been brought back together by a mutual love of music and a shared outrage after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Former Lancaster Catholic High School classmates Eddie Ward, Jim Mahler and Tony Rodriguez are teaming up to lend a helping hand to the community of Newtown, Conn.
"We are fathers with small children, so that tragedy struck very close to home," Ward said.
"Aside from our professional jobs, music is what we do,'' Mahler said. "But this time our focus is on all those who lost their lives at Sandy Hook and those who put their lives on the line to prevent a bigger tragedy."
The three disc jockeys have organized a benefit event to raise money for the families of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Turning the Tables, a two-part event, will be held Feb. 17 in Freedom Hall at Lancaster County Convention Center.
The first part will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is designed for people of all ages and will feature a silent auction, arts and crafts, bouncy houses, magicians, face painting, a karate exhibition and music for families and children.
Admission is a freewill donation.
The second part, which will begin at 9 p.m., is for ages 21 and older. It will feature more than 15 disc jockeys under one roof for an evening of dancing. Admission is $5.
A banner will be on display during the event for guests to write personal messages to the families in Newtown.
In addition, the three friends have established a fund to help the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Donations can be made to the "Sandy Hook School Support Fund" at all branches of Fulton Bank.
"People in general appreciate music," Ward said. "The idea behind this effort is that music brings people together, and we are doing it for a good cause."
Mahler said the event is completely dependent upon donations. While they have received support from several local businesses, much help is still needed.
The convention center, Mahler said, donated the space to host the event.
"We have received an overwhelming response from DJs everywhere,'' Ward said. "They feel this event is a great way for them to donate their time and showmanship to support the families of Sandy Hook."
"But we are still seeking sponsors and donations, both monetary and in-kind goods," Mahler said.
"We support each other in everything we do, and we want to support the victims," Rodriguez said.
But without the help of the local community, they agree, the event would not be possible.
For information or to make a donation, call 201-2921 or email email@example.com.