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Connecticut tragedy prompts response

When the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. sent shockwaves around the world, Ricci Allard was moved to do something she’d never done before – donate a portion of a month’s sales to the affected families.

“We’re very focused on families and children--the family connection and the family experience,” said Allard, who owns You’re Fired paint-your-own-pottery studios in Bedford, Concord, Nashua and Salem. “And so when the shooting happened it just really struck a chord for me.”

Allard decided that for the whole month of January, every incoming dollar from child participants would be destined for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The company started in 2003 with it’s Bedford facility. Though they’ve hosted fundraisers for other groups, this is the first time Allard has taken up the torch on her own.

The money will go to My Sandy Hook Family Fund, “which will help with funerals, ongoing living expenses, food, mortgage payments, daycare, insurance and fuel until the victims’ families are back on solid ground,” Allard said.

Allard is expecting to raise between $4,000 and $5,000, a reflection of January sales over the years. But she hopes the fundraiser will draw even more people than usual and give a bigger chunk to the fund that hopes to raise $2.6 million by the end of January. The studio is accepting donations in addition to studio fees. As of January 7, nearly $600,000 had been raised for the fund.

She chose the fund because 100 percent of donations will go the families with none of the overhead that goes with most nonprofit organizations.

“It is our hope that families come to the studio during the month of January not only to help raise money for the fund, but to also be prompted by the fundraiser, to talk about the tragedy, remember the victims, and share thoughts and prayers for the families.”

Details on the fund set up in the wake of the shooting can be found at

More information on this month’s event is available at, or by calling 493-6453.

44th Annual Market Days Festival
Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.,
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Darci Lynne
Saturday, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

2nd Annual Amherst Food Truck Festival
Saturday, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

14th Annual New England Brewfest
Saturday, 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.

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