Like everyone, East Greenwich, RI resident Wendy Schmidle was rocked by the news of the horrifying shootings in Newtown Friday. But it hit Wendy, who is the Town of East Greenwich's IT manager, close to home.
Her husband, Paul, grew up in Newtown. Wendy and Paul were married at St. Rose of Lima Church, and their first-born child was baptized in that church. Paul's mother, Mae, served as Town Clerk in Newtown for many years and was a state representative prior to being appointed last year to the state Milk Regulation Board. While Paul was in the Navy, Newtown was the family's "home base."
"I have been struggling all weekend with trying to figure out an appropriate way to help," Wendy wrote in an email she sent to Patch Monday morning explaining her idea. "What if we staged a photo op ... for everyone from EG who would like to send their well wishes of peace and love to Newtown?"
Wendy suggested posting the photo on Newtown Patch.
By midday Monday, the plan was in motion. The School Department, Police Chief Tom Coyle and Town Manager Bill Sequino had all signed on. And so, everyone in East Greenwich is invited to Carcieri Field at the town's High School Sunday, Dec. 23, at noon for a giant photo of support for the people of Newtown.