MSU shows support for Sandy Hook School
Human biology senior Laura Cucchiara holds up her finished paper snowflake she made and hung on the wall on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at Noodles & Company, 205 East Grand River Ave. All Michigan Noodles & Company locations invited customers to bring in a paper snowflake or make one in the restaurant. When a customer did this, Noodles & Company donated 25 percent of their purchase to the “Sandy Hook School Support Fund,” which will help provide support services to those affected by the shooting. Katie Stiefel/The State News
Even though East Lansing is more than 700 miles away from Newtown, Conn., the location of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, MSU students and local organizations in East Lansing have been reflecting on the tragedy.
The Sandy Hook School shooting occurred Dec. 14 with suspected shooter Adam Lanza taking 26 lives, including the lives of 20 children. Police reported Lanza killed his mother prior to going to the school.
Since the shooting, Newtown has received national attention and support from across the country — some of which has come from Spartans.
For former MSU football player and current graduate assistant coach Josh Rouse, the shooting truly hit home.
Rouse grew up in Newtown from kindergarten through high school, attending one of the five other elementary schools in the town. He said he was shocked when his hometown was on the homepage of Yahoo! and saddened by the event.
The rock on Farm Lane is painted with "Spartans love Newtown" on Jan. 8, 2013. Newtown, Conn., was the sight of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Julia Nagy/The State News
Rouse showed his love for the families and community by posing with some of the MSU football players, holding signs that read, “Love is louder than violence.” The picture will appear in a video to go along with a song made by a few of Rouse’s buddies from back home, he said.
While Rouse contributed to a video remembering the events of Dec. 14, East Lansing’s Noodles & Company, 205 E. Grand River Ave., participated in a state-wide “Snowflakes for Sandy Hook” event Tuesday to help raise money to provide support services for the affected families and community.
“We like to do a lot of community outreach, and it was something that we thought had a big impact on the country and (we) wanted to help out,” Pasta Per Trio Director of Marketing Mike Endres said.
All 14 Noodles & Company locations are donating 25 percent of every meal purchased when customers bring in or make a paper snowflake, he said. All of the donations will be sent to the United Way’s Sandy Hook School Support Fund, which already has raised an estimated $6 million.
Rouse said he was more focused on acknowledging the event and spreading awareness instead of raising funds, he hopes people will do whatever they can to remember Sandy Hook’s victims.
“It’s not a money issue for me, it’s more of an issue of showing my support for my hometown and showing that I care,” Rouse said.
The restaurant’s event attracted human biology senior Laura Cucchiara, who made a snowflake and participated in the donations.
“It’s a good cause,” Cucchiara said. “A lot of things obviously happened to the people, so it’s time to give something back to them.”
MSU students remembered the tragedy on campus Tuesday by painting the rock on Farm Lane. It was painted in support for the Sandy Hook victims with the message “Spartans love Newtown” and a heart to show love across campus.
Journalism senior and community service director for Alpha Phi Alpha Tyler Hendon said he doesn’t want this event to simply go away, he wants to bring awareness to the tragedy. Hendon said it is important for campus to continue to reflect on the events.
Members of Alpha Phi Alpha have been reflecting on the shooting since it first happened. On the night of the shooting, members of the fraternity held a vigil — lighting candles and welcoming students looking to grieve together.
“Those people didn’t expect it to happen, just like how we don’t expect it would happen here,” Hendon said. “We are just talking to people, making sure people know what’s going on so people don’t forget about it in a couple of weeks. The people who were affected will have to deal (with) it for the rest of their lives.”