A fund established to support those most affected by the Dec. 14 shooting has received a big boon from an Ohio steakhouse owner who says he was "moved" to take action.
Earlier in the year, Jeff Ruby of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment hosted a birthday fundraising gala in downtown Cincinnati, raising $44,000 for the Newtown Memorial Fund.
"Jeff Ruby’s compassion and support in this difficult time means so much to our organization," said fund vice-president Jeff Belanger. "The fact he used his birthday celebration as an occasion to help our community is a clear demonstration of Ruby’s overwhelming compassion and generosity. Newtown still has a long road to travel as we recover from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, but with the help of people like Jeff Ruby, our community can focus on better days ahead."
Belanger and volunteer Amy Bailey attended the April 20 gala at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, which featured 3,000 in attendance and music from Kool & the Gang.
"During February of this year the staff at Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment was busy making preparations for a private event to celebrate my 65th birthday," said Ruby. "I decided to open the event and include not only our most loyal patrons, but those who followed us through social media in an effort to raise funds through donations for the Newtown Memorial Fund."
The fund was established to provide direct assistance to those affected, put money toward a memorial and establish scholarships in the victims' names. In September, the fund joined the United Way of Western Connecticut, the Newtown Rotary Club and Connecticut's Office of Victim Services as a participant in the Immediate Needs Fund, which has spent more than $540,000 on cost-of-living needs for victims' families.