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Father of Sandy Hook Tragedy Victim to Speak in Five-Star Event Nov. 29

David WheelerEntertainment Unlimited, Ferris State University’s campus programming board, welcomes students, faculty, staff and Big Rapids community members to a presentation by David Cole Wheeler on Thursday, Nov. 29, beginning at 7 p.m. in the University Center ballroom.

Wheeler’s son, Ben, died Dec. 14, 2012, one of 20 first-graders slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. His other son, Nate, was a fourth-grade student at the same school and a witness to the tragedy. David has advocated for cultural and societal changes to protect future generations of children from the threat of gun violence by sharing his personal experiences in a journey of grief and a message of thoughtful analysis, both as a public speaker and in conversations with the media.

Wheeler and his wife, Francine, are members of the board of directors for Ben’s Lighthouse, a nonprofit organization founded by residents and friends of Sandy Hook and Newtown, Connecticut, which seeks to nurture the children of Newtown and other communities affected by trauma with the motto “Helping is Healing.”

Megan Yuchasz is a junior from Ortonville in the Music and Entertainment Business program and the vice president of programming for EU. She said community members, regardless of age, can learn from Wheeler’s message.

“We are hoping students come out with open minds, as well as the public since anyone in the Big Rapids community is invited to join us,” Yuchasz said. “We didn’t have a specific group in mind when we decided to bring Mr. Wheeler to Ferris, but we believed it would be good for students to see a different perspective than what they might find elsewhere in the media. I’m excited to see Mr. Wheeler because he’s worked so hard to make a change since his son passed. I think that says a lot about his character.”

This event is supported by student activities fees allocated by the Finance Division of the Student Government. Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to attend the event should contact Entertainment Unlimited office at (231) 591–2610 or by email at least 72 hours in advance.

PHOTO CAPTION: David Wheeler, the father of a Sandy Hook Elementary student killed in a 2012 school attack, will speak about his journey and advocacy for ending the threat of gun violence. The event will be held in the University Center Ballroom of Ferris State University Thursday, Nov. 29, beginning at 7 p.m.