Some Families' Gifts Missing from Municipal Center

Administrative assistant Lynn Kovack says she worries someone may have inadvertently walked off with gifts reserved for victims' families and others.


Some gifts were returned Friday, including a photo album, quilt and two posters. Lynn Kovack says an anonymous person left a bag containing the items on a table.

Original Story:

NEWTOWN, CT -- The Newtown Municipal Center's hallways are packed with

But some gifts -- made especially for the families of those lost in the dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting -- have disappeared, according to Building Department Administrative Assistant Lynn Kovack.

The town set up a system to distribute mail to the community. Two weeks ago, victims' families were allowed to put red tags on items they'd like to take home. Last week, choice was opened to staff and families in the Sandy Hook Elementary School community. This week, the process opened wide to Newtown.

Kovack said she worries residents thought anything still in the building was fair game. If that's the case, they'll be much more easily retrievable.

"We hope it's just been a miscommunication," she told Patch.

Missing items include six quilts, pillowcases, photo albums and what Kovack describes as a "stunning" picture made in charcoal for Principal Dawn Hochsprung.

"That was missing too," she said. "Someone just took it blatantly from the building. We're hoping someone did not see the tag -- but you can visibly see the tags on there."

If you have information -- or if you mistakenly took a reserved item from the Municipal Center (check for tags) -- please call Kovack at 203-270-4261.

Alan Leibensperger February 13, 2013 at 11:38 PM
That is really sad! I'm hoping also that it was a misunderstanding. But even with that you would think someone would ask first.
Carey Schierloh February 14, 2013 at 03:46 AM
Clarification: All items received that were designated for families or staff, were given to the families and staff. The items missing had been tagged by the families or by staff of SHS.
Michael Cragin February 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM
like we didnt know that was going to happen????.......Wait until untold millions are accessable....who knows where allllllllllllll the moneyn will go...........Remember...these are nice material goods and MONEY....and Humans have their hand in it....Reciepe for disaster.........THE I in them takes center stage when money is involved........just the nature of the beast
Paula Antolini February 14, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Davis... I was appointed to the memorial documentation team by First Selectman Llodra, to photograph these memorials at the Municipal Center, so I have many photos of the items. If I can be of assistance in any way to help locate these items please let me know. For instance, if you can find out which quilts are missing I can post the photos to this story so people can know what they look like in case they see them anywhere. I also have a photo of that charcoal drawing of Principal Dawn Hochsprung, which I am posting now.
Davis Dunavin (Editor) February 14, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Paula, thanks so much. Carey sent me pictures of the quilts so I think now we're looking for pictures of the photo albums and pillowcases. By the way, until you uploaded the photo, I didn't realize that charcoal drawing was the one taken. That was one of my favorite pieces at the municipal center. I certainly hope it gets recovered.
Carey Schierloh February 14, 2013 at 04:02 PM
michael...as a volunteer who spent a large amount of time opening the mail and packages sent to the town, I can assure you that great care and accountability has been taken in handling all gifts. I would like to believe that people misunderstood that items needed to be tagged on the Sunday visits, not that items could be taken if they were still at the municipal center. Hopefully the items will be returned.
Lois Imbriano Barber February 14, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Please keep us posted. I would like to think the items will be returned. If there is anything replaceable, please let me know. I can sew a quilt.
Paula Antolini February 14, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Well this is the only charcoal drawing that I remember seeing, so I am assuming it is the one in question. I just hope this helps in recovery. Yes, it is an amazing drawing. Let me know if you need any other help.
Paula Antolini February 14, 2013 at 04:48 PM
I just looked through my photos again and I have photos of an album of drawings entitled "Forever in Our Hearts, and the cover is a purple sunset drawing. Another loose leaf style book interior I photographed has pages of signatures with the outside edges of the pages in the American flag and a photo of each victim. No photo albums though. Is the pillowcase pink and green calico fabric squares with an angel in the middle with text placed on her?
Michael Cragin February 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Tired of idiots February 16, 2013 at 01:20 PM
The overwhelming support of kind, generous people from around the world has been so uplifting in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I wish there was a way to individually thank each and every person who sent a card, note, or artwork. That someone walked off with those things is really no surprise.... have you ever been to a tag sale in this town? Once you decide you like something better not take your hand off it, or set it in a pile while you look at something else, because someone will come along and walk right off with it. Honestly, everyone says how great this town but I have lived here almost 15 years and there are some very greedy, narcissistic people who live here. How was it a mistake to remove something that has another person's name on it? That's larceny, pure and simple.
Carey Schierloh February 16, 2013 at 04:42 PM
The tags were small. I'd like to believe people did not see the tags. Since items have been returned, I think I can assume the items were taken in error. I hope the remaining items will also be returned. There are "greedy, narcissistic" people everywhere.
Paula Antolini February 16, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Carey, were any of the quilt photos I sent you helpful in identifying the missing quilts? If so, I can post them for you.
Carey Schierloh February 17, 2013 at 12:50 AM
None of the missing quilts were among the pictures you sent. Thank you for trying.
Paula Antolini February 17, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Carey I hope the rest of the missing items turn up. Let me know if there's anything more I can do to help.
Carey Schierloh February 17, 2013 at 08:26 PM
I hope they are returned also. Thanks for helping.
Rick Carufel February 18, 2013 at 09:19 AM
Clearly the employees are helping themselves.
wllharrington February 18, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Don't worry, the items will show up on EBay in a short time.
Sara February 18, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Why did they have to tag them? They should have just took what they wanted when they came and looked at the stuff.
Concerned Citizen February 18, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Excuse me, but I'm about to state something that NUMEROUS people I know of, have been saying...money and/or gifts WILL NEVER bring back the deceased (EVEN THE FAMILIES OF THE DECEASED MUST AGREE), so WHY isn't the town of Newtown giving AT LEAST SOME of the money donated, to the SUFFERING FAMILIES (SOME WITH CHILDREN), WHO ARE BEING THROWN OUT OF THEIR OWN HOMES, DUE THEIR BANK'S GREEDINESS/CORRUPTION?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Granted, NOT ALL of these homeowners are victims, but MANY ARE (AND, NOT ONLY HAVE SOME OF THEM FALLEN VICTIM TO THE BIG BANKS, BUT ALSO TO A "HOMETOWN" BANK)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD REGARDING THIS MOST SCRUPULOUS USE OF THE DONATED MONIES TO THIS TOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rose Young-Stewart February 18, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Someday maybe in 50 more years(or more) someone will take it to antuque road show and claim their grandmother found it in the dumpster. Yeh Right.!
fairfield newcomer February 18, 2013 at 09:07 PM
This is about the Newtown victims gifts so get off your soapbox and take your issue with the banks elsewhere.
Philip Scalzo February 18, 2013 at 09:38 PM
It is sad that greedy people just think of themselves even in a tragic loss like this
Concerned Citizen February 18, 2013 at 10:44 PM
I've just spoken with other Newtown residents, and we all agree that helping the homeowners who've been victimized by their bank instead, is a fantastic idea! Not only is it simply the right thing to do (since it can't bring back any loved ones), but, helping each of these homeowners would also help save the equity of the whole street of homes, in each case!!!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »