2011-04-21 / Community

Community reaches out with early Mother’s Day gift for pregnant widow

By Sylvie Belmond


HAPPIER DAYS—Kristi and Brian Kaplon, with their 2-year-old daughter Chloe, before the tragedy. Brian was shot to death last month, leaving Kristi to support her toddler and unborn twins. Friends organized a fundraiser to help. HAPPIER DAYS—Kristi and Brian Kaplon, with their 2-year-old daughter Chloe, before the tragedy. Brian was shot to death last month, leaving Kristi to support her toddler and unborn twins. Friends organized a fundraiser to help. Residents donated $2,500 during a benefit last week to help a widow whose husband was shot to death in a Porter Ranch garage on St. Patrick’s Day.

Fundraisers took place at Fresh Brothers pizzerias in Calabasas and Westlake Village. The restaurant donated a fifth of the receipts collected from customers who came in with a flier for the Kaplon fund.

Brian Kaplon, 32, died from a gunshot wound to the chest at about midnight on March 17. At first, authorities thought the shooting was an accident, but a coroner later ruled it a homicide. David Andrew Armstrong, 32, whose home was where the shooting took place, was charged with murder at an April 12 arraignment.

Brian Kaplon grew up in Chatsworth. He was director of digital distribution finance at NBC Universal and had a passion for life, sports, his family and friends, said relatives in his eulogy.

Kaplon is survived by his wife, Kristi, and their 2-year-old daughter, as well as twins, due to be born next month.

“I just miss my husband so much,” Kristi Kaplon told The Acorn last week. “He just left for a little while, said, ‘Babe I’ll be back soon,’ and that was it.”

Kristi Kaplon’s parents, Teena and Yale Farar, live in Calabasas.

“It’s an incredible tragedy, and anything that we can do to help we’re more than happy to do,” said Calabasas resident Jan Rosenthal, a friend of Yale Farar who attended the fundraiser at Fresh Brothers.

“As a mother I can’t imagine expecting children in a month and raising children alone in the midst of such a tragedy,” she said.

Jennifer Levinson of West Hills organized the recent fundraiser. She promoted the event through her website, www.jenslist.com.

“Anything the community can do to help Kristie, Chloe and the twins who are due in May will make a difference,” she said.

Brian and Kristi Kaplon had been best friends since preschool, and they dated in college before getting married in 2004.

“Brian worked hard to give the best possible life for his family,” Levinson said. He was in the midst of obtaining life insurance, but the paperwork wasn’t complete at the time of his death.

“Kristi is now left to pick up the pieces. . . . She has no income source,” said Levinson.

Levinson, who has five children including two sets of twins, said every $200 raised will pay for a night nurse to help Kristi Kaplon with the twins.

“You need somebody there to help you. It’s not humanly possible to deal with two brand-new babies and a toddler alone,” she said.

Kaplon said she’s thankful for the support.

“My husband’s salary was taken, so there’s just no way for me to support myself and three children without the help of the community,” she said.

According to reports, the man accused of shooting Kaplon has several guns in his house, including rifles. Kristi Kaplon said people shouldn’t be allowed to possess weapons at their home.

“They should be banned. It’s horrible when guns fall into the wrong hands,” she said.

Donations to the Brian Kaplon Family Trust can be made through U.S. Trust, Bank of America, 1100 N. King St., Bracebridge, Wilmington, DE 19884, attn: Laura Baerwald, or through Paypal to Kristi Kaplon.

Return to top