Although it was only the second time that it had staged an awards ceremony, Newtown Kindness brought together several hundred people at Edmond Town Hall on the night of Saturday, February 22, to honor the memory of Charlotte Bacon, one of the first-graders who died in the 12/14 Sandy Hook School shooting incident.
On the day that would have been Charlotte’s eighth birthday, Newtown Kindness provided several dozen Charlotte Bacon Acts of Kindness Awards to children from across the US and Canada for performing acts of kindness.
The organization, whose motto is “Think Kindly, Act Boldly,” held a reception, awards ceremony, and closing celebration for those attending.
Overall, the organization presented eight awards to finalists, 35 awards to medalists, and one legacy award during the ceremony.
The finalists at the February 22 event were: Acacia Woodley, 12, of Palm Bay, Fla.; Christian Bucks, 8, of York, Penn.; Erin Kirby, 15, of Oregon City, Ore.; Corey Taylor, 16, of Las Vegas, Nev.; Katelyn Indelicato, 8, of McKinney, Texas; Ryan Patrick, 13, of Newtown; Dylan Siegel, 7, of Beverly Hills, Calif.; and Nicholas Lowinger, 16, of Cranston, R.I.
Some finalists appeared in person to receive their awards. Those who did not attend the ceremony sent videos of themselves speaking, which were shown to the audience.
Several presenters distributed the awards on the stage of Edmond Town Hall Theatre as multimedia projections created a graphic backdrop. Several musical acts performed between the presentations.
Among the many awards presented at the ceremony: Erin Kirby was honored for making pillowcases for the infirm which she sends across the world for distribution; Corey Taylor was recognized for her Internet-based talk show that focuses the issues raised by bullying; and Nicholas Lowinger received plaudits for his work to provide free shoes for homeless children.
Ryan Patrick was honored for his fundraising work for worthy causes.
“Just because we’re young, doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference in the world,” he said in accepting his award.
Newtown Kindness held its first Charlotte Bacon Acts of Kindness Awards ceremony on February 22, 2013, at the former HealingNewtown Arts Space location on Queen Street.
The mission of Newtown Kindness is to promote kindness as a guiding principle of humanity. The group is committed to fostering compassion in children and in inspiring their lifelong contributions to society.
Kind Deeds Recognized
Among the 35 medalists who received awards for acts of kindness:
*Emily Tarino raised almost $4,000 to support childhood cancer research;
*Gracie and Kenny Ballard raised $150 each to send a child in Haiti to school for a year;
*Lucia Marie St Lorenzo arranged for eight on-duty Newtown police officers to receive Thanksgiving dinner from The Inn at Newtown;
*Lizzie Penna started a nonprofit group called Peace For Puppies targeted at animal abuse issues; and
*Ava Carlson recruited children to donate stuffed animals to Boston Children’s Hospital.
Also, audience members learned of Newtown Kindness’s efforts in the area of animal-assisted therapy in which therapy dogs are used to emotionally help children undergoing psychological counseling.