By MARGARET THOMPSON
HUBBARD - Shoppers at several locations in the township were greeted by high-schoolers passing out bags of goldfish crackers, the tiny fish a reminder of children lost at the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
Irvin Nasseri, 17, hands out goldfish crackers outside an area store Saturday during the fundraiser.
Aaron Wirtz said in his large family, he didn't know 6-year-old cousin Allison Wyatt very well. She was one of the shooting victims
He said he and other National Honor Society members decided to hold the fundraiser in her memory.
"She was very giving always. She would share her goldfish, which is where the crackers came from," Wirtz said.
On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman named Adam Lanza stalked the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killed 20 first-grade children and six women in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. He also killed his mother earlier in the day and committed suicide as police arrived at the school building.
New details in the shooting were released Friday, but the question of why still remains a mystery, according to investigators. A report is due to be released soon.
On Friday, the mother of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, also killed in the massacre, said that the investigation shows that her son shouted for his classmates to run while the gunman paused to reload his semi-automatic rifle and was shot moments later.
"When I heard he used his last few seconds on earth to try to save his friends, I was not surprised," she said. "I am so incredibly proud of him."
The elementary school is set to be demolished in the coming weeks before the Dec. 14 anniversary of the tragedy.
Allison Wyatt was among the first-graders who died. Because of the local connection, members of the Hubbard High School National Honor Society wanted to hold the fundraiser in her honor. Money raised will be sent to the Alyssa Wyatt Memorial Fund, which distributes the money to funds and charities connected to Sandy Hook.
Braving the drizzle in chilled temperatures on Saturday afternoon, Wirtz and others sat outside the Rite-Aid while peers were located at Walgreens, Save-A-Lot and Shop n'Save.
"A lot when we would tell then about how Allison would share her goldfish, their attitude would perk up a little," said Danielle Bucci, 18, outside Walgreens.
"It hits a soft spot," Irvin Nasseri, 17, interjected.
The teens didn't have a certain amount to raise but recognized that whatever people were willing to donate would help.