To the Editor:
Families United in Newtown (FUN, a recreational program for families with special needs children created in memory of Tyler Jones) sponsored our first benefit concert for Autism Awareness month on April 27 at the Newtown United Methodist Church. It was a magical evening of music dedicated in memory of Josephine Gay and Dylan Hockley, two children with autism that were lost on December 14, 2012, in the Sandy Hook tragedy. Four outstanding musicians donated their gift of music to over 100 guests. Thank you Wesley Morlock (piano), Tristan Speed (guitar), Lindsey Jones (violin), and Yossi Kohrman-Glaser (piano and guitar), and piano accompanists Liang-Fang Chang and Alexis Zingale, for your beautiful talent and love for music that you graciously offered for all of us to enjoy.
Special thanks to the Newtown High School National Honors Society students that worked so hard to develop and promote the concert as well as provide child care for the event. Thank you Newtown Methodist church for allowing us to use the beautiful church and reception hall and Reverend Mel Kawakami for your introduction and thoughtful words. Thank you Judy Loose, Kerri Williams, and Dorothy Kawakami for organizing a beautiful reception and Denise Rodriguez — Personalized Cakes by Denise — for your adorable puzzle piece-topped delicious cupcakes. Susan Corleto always saves the day with her organization skills and Chris Nuelle donated many hours of his time to plan the event and design the concert posters. Thank you Gene Rosen for taking pictures and Charter Communications and Dom Corsi for taping the event.
Many thanks to the following businesses that donated items or services for the silent auction: Butcher’s Best, Connecticut Music Therapy Services, David Merrill, Lakeside Watersports, Newtown Florist, Newtown Nail Spa, Sabrina Style, and Tara Vincenta, Artemis Landscape Architects.
Thank you Newtown Bee for supporting the publicity of the evening. The night could not have happened without the Suzuki Talent Education School, located across the street from the church. The musicians all started their musical careers between the ages of 2 and 4 at the school. Thank you, Andy Lafreniere for your hours of dedication to these musicians and the concert planning. Many thanks to my husband, Duane Jones, for his endless love and support. It takes a village to put together an Autism Awareness Benefit Concert as well as it takes a village to support and love the children that are afflicted with autism. To everyone that supported the concert by attending or helping in anyway, FUN says thank you! Tyler, Dylan, and Josephine were there in spirit, and smiling!
Mother of Tyler Jones
and Founder of FUN
16 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Sandy Hook May 1, 2013