Voices Logo   E-Newsletter
home About Us Newsroom Join Us Register Forum Newsletter Calendar Contact Us spacer

May 18, 2007





Yesterday we held two 9/11 Living Memorial workshops at the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund offices in Boston. It was wonderful to learn more about the organization created by family members specifically to support those living outside the New York City area. Because the workshop was held in Boston, a number of family members represented victims who were passengers on the airplanes. They shared their stories as well as a magnificent memorial booklet created by the Mass 9/11 Fund to honor their loved ones.


Our special thanks go to Ted Livingston, Executive Director of the Mass 9/11 Fund, and Diane Nealon, Program Director, for organizing the event. We look forward to visiting Massachusetts again and are currently planning workshops in Philadelphia and New York City in the coming months.


This week, our Features section is dedicated to Amy Toyen, a Massachusetts resident who was attending a trade show at the WTC. I was moved by a comment from Amy's grandmother: "She had a good life. It was just not long enough." I know many of us share this same sentiment. We are also proud to pass along information about memorial foundation events in memory of Christopher Santora and Richard Keane. Please let us know if you are planning an upcoming event that you would like to share with the 9/11 community.


As always, please feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance.


Warm Regards,


Mary Fetchet

Founding Director





Thank You Boston Families!


Thanks to all family members who attended the 9/11 Living Memorial Workshops yesterday in Boston. A special thanks also to the staff of the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund for hosting the event. More 9/11 Living Memorial Workshops are planned for the near future in the Philadelphia and New York City areas. Stay tuned to the VOICES Weekly e-Newsletter for the latest updates.

















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 Amy Toyen


Amy Toyen didn't work at the World Trade Center. A Connecticut native living in Massachusetts, Amy lost a coin toss at work and had to travel down to New York to present a product from Thomson Financial to potential clients at the WTC. The trade show on the 106th floor of the North Tower was just getting started around 9am.


Amy Toyen loved reading, loved travel, loved her family and her fiance Jeff. He surprised her in March 2001 with a trip to Ireland and proposed on a windswept cliff overlooking the Gap of Donloe in Killarney. They celebrated with Champagne. Amy's family and friends remember on her Family Tribute page:


"Amy was a very kind, caring person…the type of person that was friends with both the popular people as well as the people that no one notices. After all this time, I know what I’ve come to realize… it’s important to be a little kinder and more understanding to your fellow human beings. I struggle with it every day… but if everyone spent more time trying to listen to what the other is trying to say… the world would be a much better place to live. If 9/11 stands for anything, it should be a time trying to understand one another and try to really make the world a better place because life is precious and too damn short to spend it hating other people and living in ignorance..." --Jeffrey Gonski, Amy's Fiance


"We had just ordered her wedding dress. She was so happy in her life — a woman in love, who loved her job." --Martin Toyen, Amy's Father


"She loved the theater. She loved to draw and to write. She was serene, easygoing, but not a pushover. She was firm when she believed in something. And she was a good friend. As my mother says, 'She had a good life. It was just not long enough.'' -- Doreen Toyen, Amy's Mother


Thanks to the Toyen family and Jeffrey Gonski for sharing their moving remembrances and wonderful pictures with the 9/11 Living Memorial. 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: 911livingmemorial@voicesofsept11.org




Summer Camp Spotlight: Camp Better Days


Dates: August 17-24 2007

Location: Camp Echo Lake, Warrensburg, NY

Program Details: "Camp Better Days' mission is to provide a safe, fun, therapeutic environment with spectacular facilities and great special events to these very special kids. All of our great programs are back and better then ever including our amazing Counselor in Training program (CIT). Many of our staff were directly affected by the attacks and have received training in dealing with children in grief. Our staff is made up of teachers, therapists, nurses and individuals who love kids and share their journey. Echo Lake volunteers are all experts in their areas (Water skiing, ropes, swimming)."

Eligibility: Boys and girls, ages 6 to 17 who lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks.

Cost: Free for those who are eligible. Transportation from NY/NJ and Washington, D.C. area included.



Contact: Amy Callahan, Camp Director, MSW, LSW

at (201) 774-7027

Email: Amycallahan99@hotmail.com Or Beth Callahan at (973) 618-9770 or bcallahan@callahanfusco.com

Website: Check out Echo Lake at www.campecholake.com


Visit the Voices For Kids 2007 Summer Camps Page







Memorial Foundation Events:


Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Richard M. Keane Foundation Annual 5K Run

Time: 11am

Location: Standish Park in Old Wethersfield, CT


The goal of the Keane Foundation is to create a 9/11 Memorial Sports Center, at the Pitkin Community Center, for Wethersfield’s youth and families. The Keane Foundation was established soon after 9/11, in memory of Richard Keane, a Wethersfield resident who was lost in the World Trade Center attack.


Pre-Registration: $10 (Post marked by May 26, 2007)

Race Day Registration: $15 (9:30-10:30 AM)

Children 10 and under: $5

For Information or Volunteer Opportunities: Call 563-7316 or 563-6762.



Friday, June 15th, 2007

Christopher A. Santora 2007 Annual Dinner Dance
Time: 7pm-midnight

Location: Riccardo’s by the Bridge, 21-01 24th Avenue, Astoria, Queens


To benefit the Christopher A. Santora Scholarship fund. Dinner and dancing. Anthony Gardner of WTC-UFG will be honored as "Man of the Year," and New York City Councilman Eric Gioia will be honored as "Guardian Angel."


Visit the website for more information and to purchase tickets.






City Releases Letter on Stolen OCME Laptop


The Office of the City Medical Examiner (OCME) in New York released the following letter this week to 9/11 families to explain the circumstances and potential repercussions of the theft of an OCME laptop from a city vehicle on May 2. The section of the letter most important to 9/11 families is:


"Some have raised questions about data security and the nature and use of the materials on the stolen laptop. The laptop in question was city-issued and contained password protected case files and other work-related information. As part of its standard operating procedure, OCME photographs all potential human remains found during the recovery effort. Some images of bone fragments were stored in the laptop, but none of the images are linked to a named victim of the 9/11 attacks and the laptop does not contain any personal information about 9/11 victims."


Click here to read the entire letter.




Red Cross Promotes Preparedness in New York City

Tuesday, June 11, 2007
Prepare NY Seminar
Time 11am – 11:45am

Location: J W Johnson Senior Center
2205 First Avenue, New York City


Prepare New York is a free 45-minute emergency preparedness presentation teaching New York City residents how to create a plan, build a supply kit, and keep loved ones safe and informed during times of disaster.

Participants walk away with an interactive CD that can be used to create a customized evacuation plan and other tools that will help any family get prepared. Also included are various brochures from the American Red Cross and the New York City Office of Emergency Management, as well as a quiz to test the attendee's emergency preparedness knowledge. Visit the website to register or call 212-875-2177 for more information. The program is free of charge.


Congress Supports Job Protection for Emergency Volunteers


An amendment to the 2007-08 Homeland Security authorization act would protect the jobs of volunteer firefighters and other emergency volunteers who respond to a federally-declared emergency. "We thank the cosponsors and supporters of this legislation for their efforts. These firefighters and EMS personnel should not have to worry about their jobs back home, when responding with their departments to national events like Hurricane Katrina,” Chief Jim Harmes, president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, is quoted in Fire Chief Magazine coverage.


Oregon Rejects $665 Million Radio System Overhaul


The Oregon Legislature rejected Gov. Ted Kulongoski's (D) plan to spend $665 million for a statewide public safety radio network because the proposal was too vague and would cost nearly $200 for every man woman and child in Oregon. Rep. Donna Nelson (R), is quoted in Oregonian coverage: "I've never seen anything like what's happening here in all my years of being here -- to establish something that is so huge and so serious" without more detail. "I don't know how on earth we can approve this without a plan and a budget." Oregon's plan, while sketchy on details, called for more coverage, more towers, higher system capacity and newer technology than most other states. The Legislature appropriated $6.8 million to study alternative plans.


Law Would Provide Immunity for Reports of Suspicious Activity


Praising the role of a New Jersey video store clerk in exposing the Fort Dix conspiracy, federal lawmakers have moved to protect people reporting suspicious activity from lawsuits. "Law-enforcement officials have noted that their investigation was triggered by an alert clerk's report that a customer had brought in a video that showed men firing weapons and shouting in Arabic, which reminded him of the 9/11 terrorists," Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) explained to the Senate last Friday, as quoted in United Press International coverage. "Protecting citizens who make good-faith reports of potentially lethal activities is essential to maintaining our homeland security."


The key phrase in the legislation is "good faith," a caveat inserted to address fears that certain groups would become targets of vindictive or frivolous investigations. The bill was introduced in the Senate last Friday by Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-CT, and ranking member Susan Collins, R-ME, of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-AZ. Reps. Peter King, R-NY, and Steve Pearce, R-NM, and Bill Schuster, R-PA, introduced companion legislation in the House on Monday.

Subscribe Contact Us Donate Now


Copyright © 2006 Voices of September 11th.  All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

VOICES of September 11 th is a nonpartisan advocacy group .
VOICES provides services and advocates for families and all those affected by September 11th; promotes public policy reform on prevention, preparedness and response to terrorism;
and builds bridges between international communities changed by terrorism.