New Days Ahead
Our all-volunteer group is raising money because we know there are going to be financial needs for years to come. In the short term, we’re here to help the families of the 26 victims, those who were wounded but survived, the twelve kids who witnessed the massacre first-hand, and those affected by the shooting as students/faculty/staff of Sandy Hook Elementary and Newtown-located schools, and first responders from the area who were dispatched to Sandy Hook Elementary.
We are actively seeking to assist who fall within these groups to simply let us know how we can help. Just contact us. Alternatively, we have partnered with Newtown Rotary and the Connecticut Office of Victim’s Services (OVS) to help cover medical and mental health expenses in a confidential, anonymous manner. You may contact OVS at (860)990-1984 with these or other needs, such that the requests can be quickly vetted in an established and anonymous review process.
We issue press releases and have this Web site because we want the world to know where they can direct their good will, but we also have the Web site so those affected know we’re here to help, support, and honor them and their lost loved ones. We will continue to work on behalf of the those affected knowing that although we can’t take their pain and suffering away, we can help with expenses and treatment, such that they can focus on themselves and their family’s wellbeing. While we will remain financially transparent and will be audited annually to be in compliance, we will make no announcements about who specifically we have made disbursements to. We are not looking to publicize nor exploit those we’re trying to help.
We place our faces and backgrounds on this page not for self-ingratiating reasons, but so that you may know we are real, concerned volunteers with real lives relating to Newtown, and are dedicated to assisting in the long-term healing needs of those who remain, and the respectful honoring of those lost. If you see us in the grocery store or at church, we are happy to hear ideas, constructive criticism, or commentary so that we can continue to evolve to better serve the needs of those who are affected by this tragedy.
For more ways to help us, please visit our VolunteerMatch page.
Newtown Memorial Fund Board Members:
I established the Newtown Memorial Fund on the afternoon of December 14th , 2012. As a near-lifetime resident of Newtown and parent, it was something that I felt I absolutely had to do. My family moved from upstate New York to the Sandy Hook area of Newtown, Connecticut in 1984, where I attended Middle Gate Elementary School in the Botsford borough of Newtown. I graduated from Newtown High School with many friends from my elementary school as well as Sandy Hook Elementary, Head O’ Meadow, and Hawley elementary schools here in our great town. In my early professional career after college, I worked in the Midwest and California, but in 1999 I moved back to Connecticut and eventually moved back to Newtown in 2005, where I now reside.
My child is a member of the class of 2024, and attends school here in Newtown at a different elementary school than where the attack occurred. But that day, I decided to help our community have a proper fund for the memory of those who did perish, and to support and help strengthen all of those affected by this tragedy.
Consequently, I’ve chosen to help create something here that our great community will need — not just today or this month, but for generations to come — an enduring memorial and assistance fund. You can read more about this on our Mission page as to its purpose and intended projects. Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We can accept tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations alike.
Rick Mazzariello has been a resident of Sandy Hook for more than 30 years. The Mazzariello family moved from New Jersey and carefully screened area schools and chose Sandy Hook because of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the wonderful administration and teaching staff there. All of his children attended Sandy Hook Elementary School. Mazzariello’s wife, Cathy, worked there for 25 years, initially as a teacher and later as the Assistant Principal until she retired in 2007. She volunteered to go back to work in that capacity for the last half of the school year in 2013 to help with the transition to the new school location in Monroe. After a long career in Marketing and Sales in the chemical industry, Mazzariello presently runs his own business as a Manufacturer’s Representative for several major chemical companies. He has served on the Boards of many industry organizations. He is a former Member of the Board of The Newtown Fund, a local charitable organization that organizes charitable activities and uses donated funds to help Newtown residents in need. He draws upon that experience to help further develop the Newtown Memorial Fund.
Robert Davenport, C.P.A.
Robert M. Davenport is a Certified Public Accountant and a Partner with the firm of Nanavaty, Nanavaty & Davenport, LLP. Over Bob’s career, he has specialized in serving the tax and financial needs of entrepreneurial companies and their owners. Bob holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, Accounting and a Master of Accountancy with an emphasis in Taxation from the University of South Carolina. He is licensed to practice in the state of Connecticut. Bob is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, Newtown Chamber of Commerce, St. Rose of Lima Church Finance Council, Treasurer of Newtown Nighthawks Football Association, and past Treasurer of Newtown Youth Football & Cheer Association, Newtown Youth Services, Inc., and Newtown Youth Baseball Association.
Beckie Hanley has been a resident of Newtown for 28 years and her 3 daughters attended Newtown public schools. Beckie’s early volunteer commitments included being a vestry member at Trinity Episcopal Church, and was a former President of Welcome Wagon of Newtown. She is actively involved in Breast Cancer Fund raising and Kid’s in Crisis through her employer. Born, raised and educated in Virginia, Beckie is married with a step son in College. Her professional experience includes her current position as a Senior Vice President for William Raveis Real Estate. Her extensive real estate and finance background includes sales, business development, mergers & acquisitions.
Dr. Susan Belanger resides in Newtown and is a licensed psychologist in independent practice. Dr. Belanger holds Masters of Arts and Doctorate degrees in Applied Developmental Psychology and has been practicing, publishing, and presenting in the field of child welfare and mental health with children, adolescents, and their families for over 16 years. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Kevin’s Community Center, a free medical clinic in Newtown, CT. She formerly worked with the Community Health Center providing mental health counseling to children and their families, as well as the Department of Children and Families providing assessments to children entering the foster care system. Dr. Belanger has served on several local and national advisory boards, including Middletown CT’s Multi-Interdisciplinary Team and New York City’s Council of Family and Child Care Agencies (COFCCA) Managed Health Care Task Force, collecting data aimed at improving the delivery of quality medical services to children in foster care in New York City.
Katie Blake is a mother, teacher, runner, race director and has close family ties in Newtown. She was one of the co-founder of the Sandy Hook Run For The Families that was held in Hartford raising over $450,000 for United Way of Western CT’s School Support Fund. Katie is the race director for the 2014 Run for Families that will be held in Newtown on March 29, 2014. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Newtown Memorial Fund. www.5krunforshf.org
Christian is a Newtown resident and a father of two young children. He and his wife moved from New York to the Sandy Hook borough of Newtown 8 years ago to start their family. He is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GSS, a locally-based executive search firm that exclusively services the healthcare industry. He also plays an active role in forming and raising funds for innovative, start-up businesses.
Deb Del Vecchio-Scully is a nationally certified and licensed professional Counselor and is certified as a Clinical Mental Health Specialist in Trauma Counseling. She holds advanced certifications in several Trauma-Informed Therapies and her clinical practice focuses on Acute and Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Pain and Illness. A lifelong resident of Hamden, Deb has volunteered extensively to support the healing process of the Sandy Hook Community. In addition to her clinical work, Deb serves as the Connecticut Counseling Association’s Executive Director and is a frequent guest-lecturer at local Universities and Mental Health Counseling Conferences on Trauma-Informed Diagnosis and Therapy.
Jim Gaston, Esq.
James O. Gaston, Sr. has lived in Newtown for more than 23 years. He is married with four children, ages 24 through 16. He majored in Finance and Economics and is a practicing lawyer. Gaston served long on both the House of Delegates and the Board of Governors of the CT Bar Association, the Board of Governors of the CT Trial Lawyers Association, and he sits on two Non-Profit Boards. He was elected and served 10 years on Newtown’s Board of Finance, and presently he is a Selectman on Newtown’s three-member Board of Selectmen.
Amy Holland Bailey is a mother of two young children and a 1992 Newtown High School graduate. Her professional background is concentrated within the public relations / communications field with previous agency experience handling media relations, content development, community relations, crisis management, branding and corporate communications. She holds a B.A. in Communication and a concentration in Public Relations from North Carolina State University. Amy and her husband reside in the Raleigh / Durham area, but have family still living in Newtown.
David Howard attended Sandy Hook Elementary School, graduated from Newtown High School and currently resides in Sandy Hook with his wife and two young children. As a Senior Manager with Grant Thornton LLP in NYC, David services clients nationally advising hospitals, health systems and physician organizations on strategy and financial performance. David has a B.A. from the Univ. of New Hampshire, an M.B.A from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.P.H from Columbia University.
John has lived in Newtown for most of his life and grew up in Sandy Hook. He is married with two daughters, both of whom attend Newtown Middle School currently and attended Sandy Hook School. John has a B.S. degree in Applied Economics and Business Management with a minor in Marketing from Cornell University and is now Managing Director at Wells Fargo Advisors where he has been recognized with the President’s Award for the past four years. John has been an elected member of the Town of Newtown’s Board of Finance for the past fourteen years where he has served as the chairman since the board’s creation. Prior to serving on the Finance Board, John was an elected representative for six years on the Town of Newtown’s Legislative Council. John has also served as the Treasurer and President of Rock Ridge Country Club, a family oriented country club in Newtown.
Michael was born and raised in Connecticut and grew up in Enfield. After attending Southern Connecticut State University, Michael embarked on a professional career in numerous Sales and Marketing positions for some of the Nation’s largest corporations. Michael, and his wife moved to Newtown on 10-31-2003 and their first experience as a family was walking up and down Main Street during Halloween and recognizing the residents of Newtown are unique, passionate, and extremely family oriented. This environment was exactly the type of environment they wanted for their children and later their business. Michael’s true passion is with the Life Sciences and in 2007 he started his company Element Marketing Group Inc. which is based in Newtown. EMG has grown steadily and now counts some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers among its clients and employs over 35 employees Nationwide and over 20 in Newtown.
Andy Sachs is the father of two young children and the husband of a Newtown native. Professionally, he is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker and team leader of “The Around Town Team.” He also proudly serves as an elected member of the Board of Newtown Police Commissioners. Before entering real estate, he worked in non-profit development, campaign fundraising, and national sales and marketing management.
Julie has been a volunteer member of the Newtown Scholarship Association since 2004, currently serving as the Association’s President. She is the Executive Director of University Financial Assistance at Sacred Heart University (SHU) in Fairfield, CT, a position she has held since 1987. For over 30 years, Julie has helped countless students attain a higher education through the administration of financial aid. She is well known and respected in her chosen field, serving on several Boards of Directors and a frequent presenter at College Board activities. She regularly interacts with students and parents at high school financial aid nights and college fairs. Her technical knowledge of the field of financial aid is extraordinarily broad and her passion for helping students achieve their dreams of a college education is as strong today as it was in 1979 when she first joined SHU’s financial aid department as an assistant director. Julie and her family have called Newtown home since 1980. They moved to their current home in Sandy Hook in 1994. Their son Nicholas was educated in the Newtown public school system, as was his wife Kaitlin, both graduating from Newtown High School in 2001. The Newtown Scholarship Association, the people of Newtown, and especially the borough of Sandy Hook, are close to Julie’s heart, and she considers it an honor to be able to be a part of the Newtown Memorial Fund.
Contact us for more information.