In the wake of the tragedy that claimed the lives of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, a benefit will be held in Jamestown.
On Saturday, from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., Jamestown's Sky Bar and The Q will play host to 21-and-over events in which the proceeds will benefit those affected.
The event at Sky Bar, which is located at 108 Fairmount Ave., will feature DJ Xcite, Felony Entertainment and a blacklight party. No admission fee is required, but $3 donations will be accepted. A silent vigil will be held at 11 p.m.
"Scott Wiedrich, owner of Sky Bar, donated the use of the bar to us for the event," said Jaala Haskins, event planner and host. "He and the former owner have been amazing with community efforts and hosting amazing benefits. I've been employed there for six years now, so I thought it would be the perfect place to continue a legacy of benevolence."
The Q, which is located at 104 W. Second St., will feature DJ Jimmy Whispas, plus power hour and drink specials for a $3 cover.
"It is an unfortunate tragedy, but we want to celebrate their lives and show that in the midst of any kind of tragedy that everyone can come together to offer hope," said Haskins. "The name of the event is 'Diamonds in the Sky' because we want Newtown, (Conn.) to be as strong, brilliant and resilient as a diamond, and to bounce back from this."
The event was also planned, and will be hosted by, Joe Marucci, of Frewsburg.
"When I heard President Obama say on television that we need to come together as a nation, I immediately felt that we should all come together to throw a benefit for the 26 lives that were lost in Newtown," said Marucci. "Just because it didn't happen in our backyard, that doesn't mean we shouldn't help. I have a little brother, and I would be devastated if anything were to happen to him. And, I know I'd want support if it did, so we need to come together as a nation to offer that support to Newtown."
So, Marucci called Haskins, a native of New Castle, Pa, who currently resides in Jamestown, to ask her if she'd like to cooperate with him on hosting a benefit.
"When I heard about Newtown my heart just sank," said Haskins. "Even though we're a few miles away, we wanted to let the people of Newtown know that America's on your side. The whole point of being American is to stand up for each other as a nation. And, we need that after losing so many young lives who could have been the future."
Proceeds from the events will benefit the Sandy Hook School Support Fund at Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St. Newtown, CT, 06470. For more information call 203-426-2563. The Newtown Youth and Family Services of The United Way of Western Connecticut, a nonprofit mental health clinic located in Sandy Hook that is providing counseling for those impacted, will also benefit.
"We wanted to make sure that the funds would help now, and also in the long term," said Haskins.
For more information on the events, search for "Diamonds in the Sky: A Benefit for Sandy Hook Elementary" on Facebook. Those who wish to donate, but cannot attend the events, can visit uwwesternct.org/sandyhook.