By Abby Walton
When the idea of raising money for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was brought to the Zionsville Alpha Leo’s Club, current Leo President Drew Hobick said he thought it was a great idea.
“When the idea was brought to the club, they were ecstatic about it and everyone jumped in to help,” Hobick stated. Partnering with Inga’s Popcorn, the club sold popcorn at the EGGnormous Egg Hunt and at Akard True Value Hardware. They also worked individually to collect donations. The club raised $500, which they sent to the Newtown Lions Club.
The Newtown Lions Club Foundation is a nonprofit which is partnering with other organizations to help the survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting. The Newtown Lions wanted to help their community heal by providing counseling services to the families and first responders.
The funds are used to pay counseling costs for uninsured and help families find licensed mental health professional in their area.
Former club president Anthony Knepp said “The scars from this awful event will be there forever, but I hope we were able to lighten up the pain a little and show that the Zionsville Alpha Leos Club will always be here to serve and support those who need it.”
Since the Sandy Hook shooting, the Newtown Lions Club Foundation has given out nearly $30,000 to 41 people.
Newtown Lions Club member Bob Schmidt stated, “Insurance companies do not always provide the best coverage for mental health issues and we wanted to encourage people to get the help they need without the financial burden or aggravation of dealing with insurance companies.”
Schmidt stated that at the rate they are going now, their annual needs will be approximately $130,000 this year. He said it’s predicted they may need to provide assistance for up to 10 years.
As for the Zionsville Alpha Leos, Hobick said they are very proud to be a part of this project.
If you’d like to make a donation to the Newtown Lions Club Foundation, you can send a check to P.O. Box 218, Newtown, CT 06470.