California Pizza Kitchen is donating 20 percent of sales Friday in the inaugural fundraiser for a memorial fund that will offer scholarships in memory Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, who died trying to protect elementary students at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Robert Cyr, Hochsprung’s nephew, is the general manager of CPK in Foxwoods.
Cyr said, “My Aunt was a courageous woman who overcame every obstacle thrown her way in life. She died tragically that day at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but gave her life trying to protect her students and staff that she loved so much.”
Her final act of bravery was even recognized by the White House. Cyr said Hochsprung was awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal at the White house, which was presented to her family.
“She was an inspiration for myself and many others growing up and now her true heroic act will hopefully inspire other for generations to come,” Cyr said.
Cyr hopes to keep the memory of his aunt alive with a scholarship in her name and as general manager of California Pizza Kitchen in Foxwoods, hopes to kick off the fund by donating 20 percent of customers’ entire check to the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund.
Cyr said the event will recur annually and Dawn’s daughters and family members will be there representing the foundation set up in her name, "What Would Dawn Do". Family members of many of the victims will be there as well.
“Our staff will all be wearing Sandy Hook t-shirts that Dawn's daughter designed,” he said. “Our restaurant will be decorated with green and white.”
The Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund was set up in her name and will provide scholarships for graduating seniors who are pursuing a career in education.
People can donate directly on the fund through the website and 100 percent of those donations will be put toward scholarships.
“It is sure to be a success and at a time when a lot of people are looking for any small way to give back,” said Cyr.