May 4 , 2007
DEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,
On Wednesday, I joined a group of family members and two former 9/11 Commissioners, Tim Roemer and John Lehman in Washington, D.C. to encourage lawmakers to refocus their attention on passing the remaining 9/11 Commission reforms. I am grateful that the Commissioners are still so actively involved, nearly three years after the release of their final report. Their continued commitment is a testimony to the importance of these necessary reforms in ensuring the safety of our county. Although the reforms were cited as a top priority by the incoming Democratic Congress, they were stalled for a variety of reasons. I am now optimistic that Congressional offices have made a renewed commitment to expediently implementing these reforms.
Next week, VOICES will be offering free and anonymous depression and anxiety screenings via telephone. If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from anxiety or depression, I encourage you to call our toll-free number at (866) 505-3911 to speak with one of our mental health professionals. Screenings will take place every day next week from 9:00am to 4:30pm EST.
The 9/11 Living Memorial site is continuing to grow. This week we are featuring a tribute to Stacey Sennas McGowan. I had the honor to attend a ceremony dedicating a bell tower in memory of Stacey at the Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack, New York. Our thanks to her parents for sharing their heartwarming stories of such a wonderful young woman. I look forward to the upcoming 9/11 Living Memorial workshop in Boston on May 17th. Please contact our office if you are interested in attending.
As always, please feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance.
| VOICES PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
VOICES to Offer Anxiety and Depression Screenings by Phone May 7-11
VOICES will offer anxiety and depression screenings at no charge by phone from Monday, May 7 to Friday, May 11 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The screenings are conducted anonymously by mental health professionals and referrals are made as needed. Please call (866) 505-3911 or (203) 966-3911 during these hours to arrange a screening.
Join Us: 9/11 Living Memorial Workshop in Boston:
9/11 Living Memorial Workshop
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Two sessions: 2pm to 4pm AND 6pm to 8pm
Location: Massachusetts 9/11 Fund
75 Kneeland Street, 6th Floor
Call or email Michelle Doherty toll free (866) 505-3911 to register.
VOICES Seeks Development Director
VOICES is currently seeking a development director to spearhead our fundraising and grant writing activities. If you or someone you know may be interested in the position, please read more in the Jobs section of our website.
9/11 Living Memorial Feature
Family Tribute to Stacey Sennas McGowan
So many of those lost on 9/11 had, and continue to have, a profound influence for the good on those around them. The 9/11 Living Memorial Family Tributes share a glimpse of some of these special people with the world, and people they never knew. Stacey Sennas McGowan was truly one of those rare and beautiful spirits, and we are proud to feature her family tribute this week. Stacey was a beloved family member and friend whose passion for excellence was evident in arenas from the lacrosse field to the halls of high finance. Yet there seems to be so much more. Stacey's influence was so positive and calming that her friends and family coined a new noun for it. The New York Times writes in Stacey's Portrait of Grief:
Stacey S. McGowan was known for her hugs -- just part of a comfortable feeling she engendered that a friend chose to call "Staciness."
"Hers was a hug that would essentially render every other hug you'll ever receive in your life a complete insult to hugging," said the friend, Patrick Corry, in a eulogy.
Tom McGowan, her husband, elaborated from their home in Basking Ridge, N.J.: "She made those around her feel better about themselves and the life they're in, just through the enjoyment of them, you know?"
"Staciness" lives on in the memories of those touched by its warm embrace. And every year it is celebrated in an evening of lacrosse in Nyack, NY, where Stacey starred on the varsity team. You can read more about this years event, to be held next Saturday, May 12, in our events section below. Stacy's Quilt (at left) was designed and hand quilted by Mary Jane Wilkins in memory of Stacey and is part of the 9/11 Quilt Project. Mary Jane is a longtime family friend of the Sennas family. To read more about the symbolism of the quilt, click here.
Click to view past 9/11 Living Memorial Features. If you would like to add a Family Tribute for your loved one to the 9/11 Living Memorial website, please contact Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 or toll free at (866) 505-3911. Or send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|VOICES FOR KIDS Spotlight
Not Just for Kids: Resources for Caregivers
VOICES for Kids has a number of excellent resources for people raising young children--especially children like 9/11 kids who have suffered grief. Our Caregivers section contains weblinks, studies and, of course the Ask the Expert section where your questions on a variety of topics are answered by VOCIES Mental Health Professionals.
The development of VOICES for Kids was spearheaded by Dr. Robin F. Goodman, whose sage advice for parents has been featured in the VOICES e-Newsletter many times over the past few years, and is also collected on VOICES for Kids. VOICES is pleased to congratulate Robin on her appointment as Director of the planned A Caring Hand, Billy Esposito Bereavement Center, Manhattan's very first long-needed free-standing bereavement center. We know her expertise will continue to help families cope with loss and grief at this wonderful new community resource. Robin was honored this week at the A Caring Hand annual fundraising event with its 2007 Healing Award. Congratulations to Dr. Robin F. Goodman and many thanks from VOICES and all those in the 9/11 community who have benefited from your dedicated work.
| EVENTS AND INFORMATION FOR THE 9/11 COMMUNITY
Save the Dates:
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The 3rd Annual Stacey Sennas McGowan Memorial Lacrosse Games
Time: Games start at 6pm
Location: MacCalman Field,
5th and 6th graders from the HotShot Lacrosse teams will start off the evening playing their counterparts from Pearl River, NY. Ryan and Casey McGowan, Stacey's daughters, who now reside in Rhode Island will be playing on the HotShot team. Next on the field will be the Rockland Club team playing the New York Athletic Club team. These players will include college players as well as "veteran" players. The Nyack varsity team will take on the varsity team from Pearl River in a league contest. Nyack is coached by Stacey's NHS coach and Pearl River is coached by a former teammate of Stacey's in the early 80's.
Stacey was all about fun, passion and leadership. The evening promises to be just that!
Monday, June 11, 2007
The Glenn Kirwin Memorial Golf Tournament
Time: 8am Registration, 10am Shotgun Start
Location: Hampshire Country Club, Mamaroneck, NY
The Scholarship Fund has been created to honor Glenn D. Kirwin, a 1982 graduate of the University of Virginia who lost his life in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The fund and an annual scholarship will continue Glenn’s support of his alma mater and future generations of students in a way that represents his openness, generosity and persistence. The scholarship will be awarded to one or more second-, third-, or fourth-year students whose character and involvement in University life most resemble Glenn’s, with first preference to applicants who are children of victims of the 9/11 tragedy.
Glenn was taken from us in an instant but the scholarship will honor his memory and enrich others forever, as he did. We are hopeful you will consider joining us for a great day of golf at the spectacular Hampshire Country Club to benefit a Great Cause and a Great Friend. Visit the website for more information.
|HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE
Family Members Push For Speedy Passage of 9/11 Reforms
A group of 9/11 family members traveled to Washington this week to urge Congressional action on the 9/11 reforms legislation in the House (H.R. 1) and Senate (S.4). Both houses have passed their respective bills but the conference process--where members of both houses negotiate a consensus bill to send to the President--has yet to begin in earnest. The 9/11 family members, including Mary Fetchet and Carol Ashley of VOICES and Beverly Eckert and Carie Lemack of Families of September 11th, appeared at a press conference Wednesday with 9/11 Commissioners Tim Roemer and John Lehman. The two continue their dilligent work to ensure that the recommendations of their Commission are written into law and properly implemented.
An informative article in The Connecticut Post covers the press conference and lays out some of the roadblocks the legislation has faced, including differences between the House and Senate on what percentage of homeland security funds should go to each state. “The Senate has to work with the House to realize that money needs to go to the cities that are most vulnerable,” Mary Fetchet is quoted in the Connecticut Post.
Commissioner Roemer commented on a possible timeline for a conferenced bill by the end of May. Roemer told National Journal: "We have goals in mind right now. This 30 days is a goal. But we've not insisted on any deadline because we want the process to work and work well. If this meanders into the summertime, I think you'll see some growing impatience." President Bush has expressed opposition to some provisions likely to be in the final bill, including allowing Transportation Security Administration workers to unionize. A veto is possible.