Family of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in American school massacre, to hold charity event in Whittlesey
- Credit: Archant
THE family of the British boy who was among the 20 children and six adults killed when a gunman opened fire at his American school last December is holding a charity coffee morning in Whittlesey next Saturday.
Dylan Hockley, who was a pupil at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, would have celebrated his seventh birthday on Friday.
The Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund was set up in the aftermath of his death to help children with autism and special needs and his family has been inspired to do the same in Britain,
They hope the event, which will include a raffle and tombola, will raise £10,000 for the National Autistic Society.
Dylan’s grandfather Tom Hockley ran Hockley’s greengrocers in Whittlesey.
His younger sister Wendy Lutkin says she can still vividly recall the horrific events of the fateful December day,
She said: “My brother Tom phoned me at 4pm that day and said he was ringing to tell me his son Ian had called from new York to tell him he was on his way back to Connecticut because something was going on at the school.
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“Later that day, at about 9.45pm, I got a call saying they were able to get his brother Jake out but he was still missing.
“By this time I was following the news on the TV and you could tell something horrendous had happened.
“Later on we got the confirmation that Dylan’s body had been identified.
“He received special one on one teaching because of his autism and they say he died in his teacher’s arms.”
Dylan’s father Ian met his American wife Nicole at Norwich University and they moved out to Connectitut two years ago so he could start a job in New York.
In the aftermath of the tragedy Dylan’s family met President Obama, who Mrs Lutkin says had a profound effect on Dylan’s nine-year-old brother Jake.
She said: “After the meeting, Jake wrote him a letter which said ‘Dear Mr President, I think you are a very good President. Please tell everyone to wear green every December 14 because they are the colours of my school’.”
Mrs Lutkin says she has been overwhelmed by the generosity of Whittlesey’s people and businesses, who have donated 40 prizes, including balloon rides, health equipment, a barbecue and handfuls of vouchers, to the raffle.
She said: “Dylan’s favourite colour was purple so the staff at The Muffin Oven, Whittlesey, will deck the shop out in purple on Friday and are baking purple cupcakes in support of our campaign.
“The people here have been absolutely brilliant.”
The coffee morning takes place at Childers, Whittlesey, on Saturday March 16, from 10-3pm.