I had thought I had written the last of my ‘Tweets from Trumbull’, but I received a phone call this afternoon, whose message made me want to share one last thing with our fellow D5890 Rotarians before we leave the frozen, snowed in north east and return home.  The call was from Larry Palmer of Newtown RC, to ask me to thank everyone again for all their thoughts, prayers and donations to the Newtown Fund. As of last Thursday (12/28), their Foundation Fund account had received more than $250,000 from approximately 1,750 very generous donors!! They are now in the arduous task of writing thank you and receipts!
There are still lots of checks to be processed, and they are anticipating more to come! I say anticipating, because Larry told me that he is PR Chair for the club, and the recent RI global message on PR contained a mention in appeal to Rotarians world-wide to help Newtown in their Foundation’s efforts.

“We are overwhelmed, and reeling under the response” he said, “but what a feeling, to have had so many people open up the hearts to us and respond in this way. Overwhelming, that’s a good feeling”.

Larry went on to tell me that there have been many meetings about fund disbursements, and suggestions, but focus still remains on the immediate families and first responders needs. One cannot begin to imagine the shock and horror to which the police, firefighters and others were exposed that morning. They will live with those memories and images for a long, long time to come. Newtown Police Department has 45 officers. 35% of those are still suffering trauma and have not yet been able to return to work. The town budget allows for vacation and some paid days off, but it will not be long before paid time is exhausted and funds are consumed.  One area of immediate action, is to provide medical counseling and financial support to help alleviate this particular  situation, and have them back in their jobs as soon as possible.

Quiet and calm returned to Newtown a week ago, with the last of the funerals and memorial services. The press have gone, NBC having departed early at the local residents’ request. Snow fell on Christmas Eve, as if to cover it all with a blanket. Christmas Day dawned, and it all melted by noon, as if clearing the way for some form of celebration of Christ’s birth. To reinforce that we had a second fall on Thursday and to clear all traces, it is snowing this evening, as I write this.

Three days from now heralds a new year, and new challenges as Newtown moves on, in its community healing process. I will remember Larry’s closing comments in our conversation, when he talked about the value and purpose of a group of people in a small community Rotary Club. “Well, if we and our friends can’t be in the middle of rebuilding our community, then who can?”

‘Have a happy new year’ can seem somewhat cliché, but that is hew we parted, a sentiment we all wish for Newtown Rotary Club and the community at large!


Graham J Sharp CGW, PmP


G. J. Sharp Consulting, Inc.

Past President

Champions Sunrise Rotary Club