Reptile show to benefit Sandy Hook victims, families
When Eric Johnson learned of the mass shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead in Newtown, Conn., the educator and father of two felt compelled to do something.
“Being both a father and someone who works with kids on a daily basis, it really hit home for me,” Johnson, owner of E&M Reptile Family said.
To benefit the victims, families and community of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Johnson is planning a free show at the Porterville City Library later this month. The family will collect donations, and all proceeds will go directly to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund, which to date has accrued more than $73,750 for the families of the 26 who were slain in the Dec. 14 massacre.
Johnson, his wife and their sizable and cold-blooded reptile family have been educating and entertaining the public for roughly eight years; traveling throughout Tulare, Fresno, Kern, Kings and Madera counties “replacing fallacies with fact and nurturing conservation with education,” the family’s website states.
Johnson’s reptile family is made up of 80 animals, most of which are rescues. The show provides children with an opportunity to get acquainted with bugs, frogs, lizards, turtles, snakes and other dry, scaly creatures in a hands-on educational experience.
“I work with all age groups, from preschoolers to high school kids and above that. Working with our community’s kids on a daily basis really drove me to do this,” Johnson said. “We just want to give back. It’s not an isolated event. It’s something we can bring awareness to and hopefully ease the suffering of their community.”
The benefit show is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, upstairs in the Community Room of the Porterville City Library, 41 W. Thurman Ave.
Space is limited and families are encouraged to plan ahead.
For more information, contact the Johnsons at 539-2944 or visit www.emreptilefamily.com.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.