eastern connRotary Club Plans Hartford Distributors Memorial

&13;Skoczulek said the club has set a goal of raising $100,000 through Aug. 3, which should help it pay for the monument and still have a sizable portion left over to donate to the mily fund established for the victims. He said that, not counting ticket sales, about $25,000 has been raised thus r toward the goal.

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&13;The goal is to raise enough to cover the memorial, and whatever is raised in excess will go to the mily fund, said David Skoczulek, the incoming vice president of the rotary club who is helping to organize the picnic.

&13;Each of the pillars will be made of mirror-finished stainless steel, and will contain an etching bearing details of the lives of the victims and a removable upper plate where mily and friends can place time capsule items to honor the victims.

August 3 will mark the one-year anniversary of theastern connecticut health networke shooting incident at Hartford Distributors that cost eight employees their lives in one of the most horrific instances of workplace violence in Connecticut history.

&13;But Kate Simms, a Rotarian who chairs the committee organizing the picnic, said she believes the goal is well within reach, especially since the club will continue to collect donations up to the planned Aug. 3 remembrance ceremony.

&13;The event, known as the HDI Memorial Picnic, will be held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Manchester Bicentennial Band Shell on the Campus of Manchester Community College and feature food and beverages, rides and ce painting activities for children, live music, a silent auction, and a health ir sponsored by Eastern Connecticut Health Network. There will also be amemorial motorcycle ride from TSI Harley-Davidson/Buell in Ellington to the event. Tickets cost $15 per person to the picnic (children under 12 are free), while the motorcycle ride costs $25 per bike.

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&13;We didnt want it to look or feel like a cemetery, said Rick Lawrence, a Rotarian and president of Manchester-based architectural firm the Lawrence Associates, who designed and planned the memorial alongside Chris Ferrero of Fuss & ONeill, Inc. We wanted it to be a place where mily members and friends could go and reflect.

&13;The final design of the memorial and garden was unveiled at a press conference Monday in the conference room of the Eastern Connecticut Cancer Institute on Haynes Street in Manchester.

eastern connRotary Club Plans Hartford Distributors Memorial,ByEmail the author

&13;The memorial garden and monument will consist of eight stainless steel pillars connected by a braided aluminum tube threaded through and connecting each. The intent is to symbolize the unison of not just the victims of the incident but their milies and former co-workers, who pulled together to support one another in the difficult weeks and months that followed after disgruntled employee Omar Thorton shot eight of his co-workers to death in a quiet summer morning before turning the gun on himself as police surrounded the distributors warehouse.

&13;Simms said that those interested in attending the picnic or donating to the memorials cause could either contact her at 860-268-9350 or visit www.hdimemorial.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the event and donations made online.

&13;This will be our biggest project in many years, said Skoczulek. Weve never shot for a $100,000 before, so its a lofty goal for us.

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&13;But the Manchester Rotary Club is hoping to turn the somber day into one of healing and reflection through the unveiling and dedication of a memorial garden and sculpture honoring the victims on the grounds of the beer distributors Chapel Road property.

The Rotary Club of Manchester is hoping to raise $100,000 to establish a memorial garden and sculpture on the site of the incident as well as donate some of the proceeds to the victims mily fund.

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Designers of the memorial garden and sculpture that will sit on the grounds of Hartford Distributors to commemorate the victims didnt want the grounds to look or feel like a cemetery.

&13;Its about community healing, said Simms, adding that numerous businesses. organizations and individuals have expressed interest and a willingness to help out in some way. Its reached a wide variety of the community, were getting calls from banks to restaurants to dance studios.

&13;In order to achieve that goal, however, the club must first raise the funds needed to construct the memorial an estimated $50,000 to $60,000 in labor and material costs. The club is hoping to raise most of those funds through a picnic and motorcycle ride planned for Saturday, May 14.

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