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11 Families Claim No Association with Sandy Hook Promise; Controversy Continues with Tim McGraw/Sandy Hook Promise Concert

The controversy continues, as the date approaches for the Sandy Hook Promise concert, scheduled for July 17 at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford Connecticut.

Report by Paula Antolini
April 24, 2015 4:00PM EDT

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The controversy continues, as the date approaches for the Sandy Hook Promise concert, scheduled for July 17 at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford Connecticut. First there was an outcry against country music star Tim McGraw’s participation in the concert, then one of the other performers who was also scheduled to participate, canceled.

Now 11 families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims stated Wednesday that they are not associated with the Sandy Hook Promise organization and that the organization is misrepresenting what the fundraising is actually for.  The families said the victims are being connected to this concert and that Sandy Hook Promise will benefit from money raised. The non-profit Sandy Hook Promise group formed in December 2012, after the tragedy, when the lives of 26 individuals, including 20 first-graders, were taken by Adam Lanza. He also killed his own mother.

The families issued a statement:

“We, the undersigned families of loved ones killed in the Sandy Hook School tragedy, wish to publicly state that we are not associated with or supported by the Sandy Hook Promise organization,” the statement said.

“We wish only to provide clarification for the many generous donors that believe they are directly supporting the families at the center of this tragedy by contributing to the Sandy Hook Promise origination,” the statement said.

The letter was signed by the parents of nine child victims, Charlotte Bacon, Josephine Gay, Jesse Lewis, Ana Marquez Greene, James Mattioli. Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Jessica Rekos and Avielle Richman, and also signed by the family of teacher Victoria Soto and the daughters of Principal Dawn Hochsprung.

The Sandy Hook Promise also issued a statement after the families statements were published:

“Sandy Hook Promise is an independent, national non-profit organization led by several Sandy Hook family members who lost loved ones in the shooting on December 14, 2012. Our mission is to protect children and prevent gun violence by providing awareness, education and programs in the areas of mental health, mental wellness and gun safety.”

“The proceeds from this concert do not directly benefit any family or family foundation, including those families who lead Sandy Hook Promise. All proceeds benefit our non-profit 501(c)3 Foundation which funds our protection and prevention programs. These initiatives in turn will help hundreds of thousands of children and familiesacross the country. Though all our materials and fundraising options make this clear, we thank the families that signed the letter to reinforce to their donors that the proceeds benefit Sandy Hook Promise.”

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