Tag Archives: United Way of Western Connecticut

Sandy Hook victims’ funds reap millions of dollars in donation

Santa Claus came to Newtown, Connecticut, on Sunday, February 24, 2013.

On that day, an event called “Community Giveaway” took place at Newtown’s Reed Intermediate School, where thousands of town residents came to pick-and-choose from among the thousands upon thousands of gifts donated by generous people from across America and the world. They had felt sorry for the town because of the massacre of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School the previous Dec. 14th.

From noon to 3 pm, Sandy Hook School students and their families, as well as the school’s staffers, browsed through the gifts and took the ones they wanted. From 3 to 6 pm, the event broadened its scope to allow other Newtown families to browse and select gifts.

Sandy Hook giveawayCommunity Giveaway at Newtown’s Reed Intermediate School (photo by Newtown Bee)

The thousands of gifts in the Community Giveaway were only a fraction of the donations received by Sandy Hook victims’ funds. Some of the funds are private, such as the Emilie Parker Fund on Facebook created a day after the massacre, which do not make public how much money they’ve received. (Go here and here for some fundraising or memorial sites that have a creation date before the massacre.)

But other Sandy Hook victims’ funds do make public the total amount of monetary donations they’ve received. Those donations are in MILLIONS of dollars. Below is a list of the total amounts received by some Sandy Hook victims’ funds. These are only the funds I was able to find:

  • More than $1,000 was raised “in just over 3 hours” by Newtown High School’s Peer Leadership group for The Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The group did it by enlisting seven NHS faculty members to stand in as servers at Pizza Palace Restaurant on February 12, with the restaurant’s customers — many of them students of the teachers — encouraged to tip generously during the special event.
  • $2,500 raised by Isabel Linzer, a high school student at Yorktown High School in Virginia, who collected donations at her school, in her community, and from businesses.
  • $10,000 raised by Andrew Ernest, a senior at Oswego East High School in Oswego, Ill. , for the Newtown Memorial Fund. On February 18, 2013, the teenager traveled to Newtown to deliver in person the $10,000 he had raised over one month through efforts made at his high school. The Newtown Memorial Fund has a Facebook page and a website.
  • $1 million raised thus far by the Newtown Memorial Fund, “to provide for the immediate and ongoing needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.”
  • $1.3 million raised by the My Sandy Hook Family Fund, started by a group of Newtown parents. According to the Newtown Bee, the $1.3 million “is already being distributed directly to the 26 victims’ families, with each receiving approximately $47,000.” Since the $1.3 million represents only half of the fund’s goal of $2.6 million, when/if the fund reaches its total, that means each Sandy Hook victim family will get $100,000 from just this fund alone.
  • $9 million raised by a United Way/Newtown Savings Bank fund, from which a foundation — the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation Inc. — was created to disperse the funds. The Foundation is headed by a panel of local and state leaders who are in charge of reviewing requests for distributions from the fund. The panel includes Monsignor Robert Weiss of Newtown’s St Rose of Lima parish, former Newtown Finance Director Ben Spragg, Danbury Hospital’s chair of psychiatry Dr Charles R. Herrick, Newtown attorney Anne Ragusa, and former finance committee chair of the Legislative Council Joe DeCandido. Meanwhile, the fund will continue to receive donations.

By my count, the above comes to a total of $19,015,120 — over $19 million.

The $19+ million represent just the donations I was able to find, most of them from the Newtown Bee, Newtown’s local newspaper. Curiously, when I click on the URLs for the individual news articles I had retrieved just a few days ago, I now get this message: “Page not found: The requested page could not be found.”

Just one more oddity on top of the many anomalies about the Sandy Hook massacre. (For FOTM’s posts on some of those anomalies, go to our “Sandy Hook Massacre” page.)

~Eowyn

No Sandy Hook students are in the Sandy Hook children’s choir

On December 14, 2012, Americans across the fruited plains were horrified and devastated by news of the shooting massacre of 20 first-grade children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the peaceful prosperous town of Newtown in Connecticut.

The massacre of 20 five- and six-year-old innocent little children was the match that finally ignited a nationwide cry for gun control. As an example, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif) cited the “20 dead children in Newtown” as “a wakeup call” when she introduced Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 — her bill to ban “assault weapons” that include more than 150 rifles, handguns, and shotguns.

But it’s not just politicians who are exploiting the death of 20 little children.

In recent days, you would have to have a heart made of stone not to get a tad teary-eyed when you see photos and news videos of the Sandy Hook children’s choir singing their little hearts out — on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” at a New York Knicks game, and at the Grammy Awards.

Here’s a video of the choir on “Good Morning America” (GMA) on Jan. 15, 2013. In introducing the choir, ABC correspondent Amy Robach said (beginning at the 0:15 mark):

“We all know that this is a community, the Newtown community, that is both taking action and trying to find a way to heal. And these children, an amazing group of children right there, most of them from Sandy Hook Elementary School, they found a way to do both.”

One of the children in the choir, Kayla Verga, 10, said she was singing for her friend, 6-year-old Jessica Rekos, who was killed in the massacre: “Singing the song makes me feel like she’s with me and she’s beside me, singing along with me.”

Another girl, 10-year-old Sandy Hook student Jane Shearin, added, “I really want to be kind to the people who have lost their loved ones and help them to recover from their sorrow.”

When I saw the choir, like you, I marveled at how brave and strong these little kiddies from Sandy Hook Elementary School must be — to not only have survived that horrible horrible horrible morning on December 14, but to then muster themselves to help heal the rest of us by touring America singing “Over the Rainbow.”

Just to impress on you how amazing these children are, here’s a still shot of the choir from their appearance on GMA:

Moving tribute: The children, aged six to nine, appeared with singer Ingrid Michaelson on GMA this morning The children, aged six to nine, appeared with singer Ingrid Michaelson on GMA 

The day before their GMA appearance, the choir had recorded “Over the Rainbow” at the Fairfield, Conn., home of Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, two former members of the Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club rock bands. Copies went on sale the next day on Amazon and iTunes, with proceeds benefiting the United Way of Western Connecticut and the Newtown Youth Academy.

The only problem with the above is this:

There are no Sandy Hook Elementary School students in the “Sandy Hook” Newtown Children’s Choir.

Matthew Sturdevant, Jenny Wilson, and Dave Altimari report for The Hartford Courant, Feb. 7, 2013:

Are the Newtown kids set to sing at the Grammy Awards really from Newtown? That’s the question Newtown’s superintendent is asking, and she’s also asked them to stop performing.

Organizers of a Newtown children’s choir that has received widespread attention are defending themselves against concerns raised by the superintendent of schools over whether they have misrepresented the group.

Superintendent Janet Robinson took to a national stage, CNN, Thursday to voice concerns about the Newtown choir, organized by Sabrina Post, who runs a performing arts studio in town.

Robinson said a handful of parents called her office Wednesday concerned about Post’s history with the school system and about confusion over whether Post’s group includes the same students in a chorus that performed at the Super Bowl. All of those students attend Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 students and six women on Dec. 14.

Post was a former Newtown High choral director before she was charged with stealing from the school district by using bogus expense vouchers. She was placed on leave in February 2005 and resigned in June 2005 after agreeing to pay the school board $11,000. She was also granted accelerated rehabilitation.

The choir run by Post made its first national appearance last month, singing “Over the Rainbow” on “Good Morning America.” Copies of the performance, recorded with Ingrid Michaelson and Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, are being sold on Amazon and iTunes with proceeds going to the United Way of Western Connecticut and the Newtown Youth Academy. The choir performed at a recent New York Knicks game and is scheduled to appear at the Grammy Awards.

“I just know that I’ve got a lot of people saying, ‘They’re on “Good Morning America.” These aren’t our kids,” said Robinson. “Why are they using this name?”

Post said she was contacted by “Good Morning America” to organize the children’s choir. All of the children are students at her studio. “Everything is done by the book,” said Post.

New York producer Tim Hayes, who produced the “Over the Rainbow” project, defended Post and the choir’s fundraising efforts Thursday.

“‘I’m a little sad that someone’s personal vendetta is muddying something that’s completely transparent,” said Hayes, who received an email from Robinson on Tuesday telling him to stop working with Post. “She attacked Sabrina and the integrity of 21 little kids.”

Hayes said “the office of the superintendent supported the project but didn’t have the ability to do it. So we went to churches; they recommended the Newtown Youth Academy. I went to see for myself if it was doing something good. They said there’s a private music teacher in town, you can ask her, maybe that will help. Sabrina picked up the phone and offered to volunteer her time, her space.”

Hayes said Post “never has an opportunity to touch any of the money.”

Some town residents Thursday said they were not concerned that there is a choir of children who are not from Sandy Hook Elementary School representing the town and raising money.

I feel that Sabrina Post and her group — she’s very professional, she’s very caring, she’s been very involved with the children,” said Carol Lawson of Newtown, a former elementary school secretary. “And I feel you can’t exploit children without parents’ permission. She is not exploiting those children because those parents would not allow [them] to go to sing with her” if she were.

Did you get that?

Newtown residents like Carol Lawson aren’t at all bothered that a choir that represents itself as being comprised of students from Sandy Hook Elementary School, actually has no student from Sandy Hook Elementary School. All that matters is if you “feel” that the deception is “well-intentioned” and the deceiver “cares.”

It’s all about feeeeeeeelings.

Who cares about the Truth? After all, in the Left’s world of moral relativism, truth is what you say it is!

One more thing:

The United Way of Western Connecticut that gets some of the proceeds from the sale of the Newtown Children’s Choir’s “Over the Rainbow” is the same United Way of Western Connecticut that had put up a webpage, soliciting donations for Sandy Hook victims, on December 11, 2012 — 3 days before the massacre. (See “Sandy Hook RIP/donation webpages created BEFORE the massacre,” Jan. 8, 2013.)

H/t FOTM’s Kathy

~Eowyn