Sudbury’s Board of Selectmen opened the last meeting of 2012 on Dec. 18 with “heavy hearts,” according to Selectmen Chair Larry O’Brien. He said both the Board of Selectmen and residents of Sudbury are deeply saddened by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“It will take the community years and years to recover from the tragedy,” O’Brien said. He said that he has written a letter to the Selectmen in Newtown, offering condolences and inviting the board to reach out to Sudbury Selectmen if the board can assist with Newtown’s recovery process.
O'Brien noted Sudbury has also been a victim of school violence, referring to the fatal stabbing of James Alenson, 15, at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School on Jan. 19, 2007. John Odgren, now 22, is serving a life sentence following a first-degree murder conviction in the Alenson case.
O’Brien said Selectmen received a suggestion from a resident regarding a way that Sudbury residents can assist the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The resident suggested directing charitable donations to the Boston Foundation, which has a fund in James Alenson’s name. The fund supports the siblings of the victims of school tragedies.
“Many times the siblings are ones who have great difficulty dealing with the loss,” said O’Brien. He said the suggestion to support the James Alenson fund is an excellent one and will provide Sudbury residents with a way to honor both the Sandy Hook victims and James Alenson.
For Sudbury residents who are interested in sending a condolence card to Newtown, O’Brien said HOPEsudbury is collecting the cards and will send them en masse to Connecticut.
“I think supporting the James Alenson fund is a good idea,” said Selectman Bob Haarde. “After this tragedy, I think every community is saying to itself, it could have happened here. We are one community that can say that it has happened here.”