Local/State

Bucks Co. town raises money for Conn. victims

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hundreds of people in Newtown, Bucks County came together to honor and raise money for the victims of Newtown, Connecticut.

6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler was a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School and was one of dozens killed during the Connecticut shooting tragedy.

His mom, Francine Lobis Wheeler, went to Council Rock North High School and Sunday friends and family ran a 5K to raise money in her son's memory.

Hundreds of runners hit the pavement at Council Rock North all in the name of little Benjamin.

"I said I want to be part of this, our whole family wants to be part of this," said Tony Lobis, Benjamin's uncle.

His uncle says getting through Christmas was tough for their family.

During the opening ceremony Benjamin's grandfather and uncle held each other close.

An event like this reminds them that their hometown cares, and is here with open arms and hearts.

"It's very heartwarming. I mean we can't undo the tragedy and this [event] is very special because my sister, my brothers and I grew up in this area, this was our school," said Lobis.

Most of their family still lives in the area and all of the proceeds from the 5K race will go towards a fund set up in Benjamin's name.

Some of the runners who came out say they never knew the family until the tragedy

"For me it was very emotional. I have two grandchildren. The day I saw it on the news it really hit home. I wanted to hug my grandchildren and if I can do this for this family it means so much," said Nancy Smith.

The Lobis family says they are touched and proud of what their hometown has done

"I'm very thankful that it's at the place that we grew up. All of us feel that way, this is our home," said Lobis.

Benjamin's mom Francine didn't make it to Sunday's event but organizers say she will ultimately decide how the funds will be used in her son's memory.

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pennsylvania, bucks county, Newtown, Conn. school shooting, local/state
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