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Fundraisers Arranged for Norwalker's Family

NORWALK, Conn. – Friends of a young Norwalk man who died suddenly last week – and those who hardly knew him – are working to help his grieving family by holding fundraisers and collecting money on their behalf.

James "Kuta" Shaw, 21, was struck by two vehicles early Friday while running across the Route 7 connector, near Norwalk Hospital. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at First Congregational Church on the Green , on the corner of Park and Lewis Streets.

Victor Askew, a 21-year-old friend of Shaw's, has organized a fundraiser at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Café East, located at 804 Atlantic St. in Stamford. "We're raising money for Kuta's funeral arrangements and his family, trying to help them as much as I can," he said at a candlelight vigil held for Shaw last week. "It's a get-together for all of us here to celebrate his life instead of mourning his death. Everyone is welcome."

Jerry Petrini, owner of My Three Sons , a children's fun house located on Wall Street in Norwalk, remembers Shaw "vaguely" as a student at West Rocks Middle School. Petrini heard that Lynne Moore, principal of the school, was raising money for Shaw's family, and offered both a monetary contribution and to hold a fund raiser at his business.

"There will be people at the door collecting donations, whatever they give, and we will offer free gym, free laser tag and free palladium ," Petrini said. "Those are the three major things we have. Normally they have a $5 fee, each one. Whatever they want to donate at the door, we're giving those three activities free."

That will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 4.

"It's something we wanted to do to help out the family," Petrini said. "All these kids, they've been here all their life. I do remember him vaguely, my brother was a teacher up at West Rocks."

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