— To help reach its fundraising goal for a memorial to slain Hartford Distributors workers, the Rotary Club of Manchester is teaming with radio station WCCC-FM for an event Friday at Adams Mill Restaurant.
The club, which is trying to raise about $69,000, is "extraordinarily close to the goal, perhaps $5,000 away," Dave Skoczulek, a spokesman for the effort, wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. "We expect we can use the event (at Adams Mill) to finish off the fundraising just in time."
The memorial garden on the grounds of the beer distributorship off Chapel Road is under construction and is to be dedicated on Aug. 3, the one-year anniversary of the worst workplace massacre in state history. HDI truck driver Omar Thornton killed eight co-workers before turning the gun on himself as police closed in.
The "Height of Summer" event Friday is slated for 4 to 9 p.m. at the restaurant on Adams Street. Adams Mill will offer appetizers for a $15 per person donation to the memorial fund, according to a press release. Discount drinks and door prizes also will be available.
Fundraisers "closed the gap through many different opportunities," Skoczulek wrote.
"Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield graciously held an event for the memorial and brought in $3,300," he wrote. "We received generous donations from many private individuals, from the SBM Charitable Foundation, Arbella Insurance Foundation, MACC Charities and many more.
"I believe with strong participation on (Friday), we can finish this project," he wrote. "We are so very close to creating what we hope is a healing tribute to those lost."
The memorial is to include eight stainless steel sculptures representing each of the men killed. Those wishing to donate also may send checks made out to Manchester Rotary Club Foundation-HDI project, Manchester Rotary, P.O. Box 1, Manchester, CT 06045.