Shelton gift shop's custom coffee mugs help Bristol heroes fund

SHELTON — When Bryan Lizotte learned about the Oct. 12 shooting that left two Bristol police officers dead and another injured, he was shocked.

“I thought ‘This is crazy,’” said Lizotte, owner of Shelton Gift Boutique in the heart of Shelton’s downtown. “You go to work, and you expect to come home. Those poor families. They know there are risks involved, of course, but you don’t expect to be ambushed.” 

Lizotte’s next thought went to helping the officers’ families. 

“I’m not rich. I can’t help monetarily, so I said, what can I do,” Lizotte said. “Well, I can make mugs, that’s one thing I do. So that is what I spent last Friday and Saturday doing.” 

Lizotte, who creates personalized T-shirts and mugs and stainless-steel rings, presently owns the gift boutique, which features the work of dozens of vendors selling various jewelry, photos and other artistic creations. Lizotte contacted Lights on Rosewood, a Bristol-based agency that raises money for local families and charities and has become a resource for the officers' families.

"I figured I would donate the 50 mugs and maybe they can raise some money for the families,” Lizotte said. “I dropped them off Monday, and yesterday (Wednesday) I found out they are selling for $50 each, and the group has already raised $2,500. My less-than-$100 donation turned into $2,500. I felt terrific about it.” 

Lights on Rosewood, in a statement to Hearst Connecticut Media, praised Lizotte, adding that his donations had nearly sold out in one night, with $2,500 being donated to the officers’ families. 

“I felt like I did something," Lizotte said. "I’m just a little guy in Shelton, far away from them, but I was able to still make an impact. It made me feel great to be able to help.” 

Lizotte put an additional 12 Bristol Heroes mugs up for sale at his shop Friday. Each mug is $50, with the funds going to the Bristol Police Heroes Fund. Another 70 mugs are on the way, which he plans to deliver to Lights on Rosewood.

"If someone could pick them up, I’d pay for them,” Lizotte said.. 

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com