Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
File photo
File photo
Sunnyside friends will host a February 23 fundraiser for the family of Sandy Hook shooting victim Benjamin Wheeler.

Two months after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the heart of a neighborhood remains with the family of a little boy who perished in the gunfire.

A Sunnyside group is planning a fundraiser for the bereaved family of six-year-old Benjamin Wheeler, who spent his earliest days in Sunnyside, romping through nearby parks and riding the No. 7 train. Ben’s parents, Francine and David, lived in Sunnyside until Ben was seven months old, when they moved with Ben and his older brother Nate to Newtown, Connecticut. Francine was one of the founding members of Sunnymoms, a collective of local parents who share recipes, baby sitter recommendations and parenting tips. Now, along with friends from the neighborhood, Sunnymoms is organizing an event to honor Ben’s memory and raise money for the Wheeler family.

“It didn’t take long to realize there was more we could do for that family,” said family friend Roger Hitts, who is coordinating the event.

The same group held a vigil for Ben and Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung in December at Sunnyside Gardens Park, a favorite spot of Francine’s when she lived in the neighborhood.

“[The Wheelers] were so loved in this community,” said Hitts, whose daughter was a playmate of Nate and Ben. “They were such a real wonderful family who was dealt the worst hand they could think of.”

The Saturday, February 23 event, held at the Sunnyside Community Services Center, invites local families for an afternoon of face painting, balloon sculptures and snacks. Musicians will perform songs by The Beatles, Ben’s favorite band.

Hitts said the event is to remain family-oriented, adding that “there’s not going to be people making speeches on gun control.”

If you would like to make a donation, contributions can be sent to:

The Ben Wheeler Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Band
39 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470

Donations can also be made through PayPal, via the email address benwheelerfun@yahoo.com.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

 

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Related Stories
Sunnyside vigil remembers Newtown victim Ben Wheeler
Sunnyside vigil remembers Newtown victim Ben Wheeler
Popular Stories
Photo courtesy of CNN/Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain will eat his way through Queens in Sunday's episode of 'Parts Unknown'
Photo: Twitter/@NYPD106Pct
UPDATE: Howard Beach man dies of injuries after being struck by a car while crossing the street
Inset photo via Wikimedia Commons/Photo via NYPD
Police are looking for Queensbridge Houses resident who shot a man in front of the development


Skip to toolbar