Fund’s mission is to create a lasting memorial location for Newtown, academic scholarships in the names of the victims for generations to come, and long-term support for the affected families.
Organization’s Board of Directors is by Newtown for Newtown.
NEWTOWN, CT (Dec. 26) – In the wake of the December 14th Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy, Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. was formed to address the long-term memorial needs of the Newtown community. The organization came together within hours of the tragedy and has already brought in more than $250,000 in donations from around the world. Its Board of Directors represents current and past Newtown residents, public officials, a Newtown school teacher, a licensed psychologist, a police officer, and local business leaders.
“What makes our organization different is that we’re here for the long haul,” said Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. Founder, Brian Mauriello. “While some of the other funds in town are doing the important work of addressing the victim families’ immediate needs, we’re focusing on what will happen in coming months and years. The town will need a proper memorial to commemorate this tragic event, as well as academic scholarships in the names of the victims, so that students for many years to come have the opportunity to further their education. That is something that was taken away from 20 young children. Our fund hopes to honor their legacy by sending many dozens of Newtown kids to college in the coming decades.”
Mauriello is a Newtown resident, a Newtown High School Class of 1992 graduate, and a father of a first grader in the Newtown public school system. As the organization was forming, he reached out to his former classmates and community. “I knew that to be legitimate, we would need a Board of Directors with strong ties throughout the community, great business acumen, and the ability to build something big,” Mauriello said.
The Board of Directors includes: Robert Davenport, C.P.A.; Attorney Jerome A. Mayer, Esq.; Newtown Selectman Jim Gaston, Esq.; Newtown Public School Teacher Tim Napolitano; Newtown resident and Trumbull Police Officer Sgt. Phil Hynes, III; Newtown Police Commissioner board member and Realtor, Andy Sachs; long-time Sandy Hook resident and business owner, Rick Mazzariello; Psychologist Dr. Susan Belanger, Ph.D.; Author and former Newtown resident, Jeff Belanger; and former Newtown resident and Non-Profit Administrator Sara Appleyard Adams. In the coming weeks, more additional key individuals from the school board and town government will be added to help represent and administer Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc.
Within days of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the organization: formed; filed as a company in Connecticut, obtained a federal EIN number from the IRS; established a bank account, a post office box, and a Board of Directors; filed their articles of incorporation; filed for their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; and raised over a quarter of a million dollars.
“We know people are concerned about where their donation dollars are going,” said Mauriello. “As we work quickly to gain our 501(c)(3) status, we’re committed to total financial transparency. All of us are volunteering our time and talents to get this organization off the ground. If we can reach our goal of raising 26 million dollars, we will have a fund that can serve the community’s memorial needs, and establish a long-term set of academic scholarships so future generations of Newtown students have the opportunity to further their education. We’re off to an incredible start and have had some promising contact with organizations that can make these goals come to fruition, but we still have a long way to go.”
Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. is committed to working with the other organizations and funds in town that are striving toward the same goal of helping the community heal, yet never forget the tragedy that took place in town.
About Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc.
Newtown Memorial Fund’s mission is to create a sustainable, multi-generational fund to provide for immediate and ongoing victims’ family needs, a memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, and to establish academic scholarships in the victims’ names for victim classmates and for generations of Newtown students to come. The Fund is incorporated in the State of Connecticut, has applied for 501(c)3 status, and has convened a cross-functional Board of Directors. For more information and to donate, please visit: http://newtownmemorialfund.org. Donations are also accepted by mail at Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 596, Botsford, CT 06404