Back in January, after spending countless hours painting for Christmas, I was sick with the flu and curled up in my bed with a pencil and my sketchbook. I had so many ideas for mini series that I wanted to paint now that my commission work was slowing to a normal pace. I sketched out a whole “Townies” series focusing on my home town, Stoughton Massachusetts. So much history, such a great place to grow up, the perfect inspiration for my little series. While the pieces were pleasing to look at, they didn’t hold a deeper meaning, so they sat as ideas in my sketchbook.
My hometown has seen its share of good and bad press lately. Social media has not been kind and I have watched from a distance as neighbors hid behind computer screens saying things to each other they would never say to each other in person, tearing each other down. I’ve watched as the High School muddled its way through human rights and free speech issues. I’ve watched as elected officials and residents battled over many issues. Being removed for so many years, I couldn’t help but wonder what was happening to my little tree-lined town, filled with a melting pot of wonderful people.
May 19th. Two cars filled with High School kids traveling back from a 16th birthday party. The car in front lost control, killing 4 passengers and leaving the driver fighting for his life, all while the kids in the second car watched helplessly in horror. These kids are my kids age. I didn’t know any of them, but it really hit home for me. My heart hurts for those mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters, friends and classmates that lost a piece of their heart that day. I watched as my beautiful town, once divided, immediately came together to mourn. Orange and black ribbons tied around neighborhood trees. Businesses hanging signs of condolence. Neighbors working together to lift up the families, the SHS students and staff, and each other through this senseless tragedy.
Some students came up with the idea to do a flag football fundraising event and silent auction to benefit the families of the five kids. My Townie series now had meaning and purpose as I decided to donate five pieces, one for each of the five kids involved in the crash. Each piece is hand painted. The “Stoughton Established” piece is painted on 150 year old barn wood. The “Us. We. Together. Forever.” piece is painted on a piece of slate recovered from the Stoughton Library reconstruction.
As time moves on and normalcy replaces the grief and sorrow my town is wrapped in, I hope neighbors will continue to reach beyond their computer screens and help each other. That they will listen and respect one another and work through their differences in a respectful and productive way. That they will find it in their heart to be genuine, kind, understanding and tolerant. And they will continue to give to causes that matter within the town and beyond. If this tragedy has taught us anything, it is that every day is a gift and to take nothing for granted. “Be the good” in this world, not just now in a time of tragedy, but always. My prayers go out to all who knew and loved these kids. Please consider signing up for the Flag Football game on Sunday or visit the auction and bid on some really great stuff.
Go Black Knights!
P.S Below is the information if you would like to make a donation, sign up to play or visit the event!
Posted on Facebook by Felicia Baptista
First things first we want to thank everyone from the bottoms of our heart. Everyone of this page has been great with offering to help in every way, wanting to sponsor a field, and even registering multiple teams you all seriously rock.
1. Here is the link to register a team to play in the tournament ALSO this is how you choose the orange or black package to sponsor.
2. Here is the link to sign up to lend a hand the day of the event.
3. Here is the link to the waiver that we mentioned in the video that everyone needs to fill out. REMEMBER if you are a minor and planning on playing in the tournament you must come with this waiver signed by a parent!!!!!!!
Waiver link: https://bit.ly/2s4QKzl
5. We are now running a bake sale table alongside our snack bar. If you would like to help our and show off your baking skills please message Tina Williams Egan with what you want to contribute. Only thing we request is you please inform us of the ingredients ahead of time for allergen purposes, and you individually wrap or bag the items how ever you think they should be sold by.
Pictured below is the event flyer & t-shirts sold the day of the event.
***ANY questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to shoot me a message***
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