A former Evergreen resident and her aunt who were touched by the massive slaying at a Connecticut school last week are working together to send silver angel pendants to 20 families who lost children in the tragedy.
Bonnie Rose, who now lives in Walsenburg, has been buying the angel pendants from Evergreen Fine Art for her aunt and daughter-in-law for years, she said. Gallery owners Phil Shanley and Barbara Hadley contribute a portion of the funds from the sale of the specially designed sterling sliver angels to Mount Evans Home Health & Hospice.
Rose's aunt, Louise Daly, who formerly lived near Newton, Conn., where the shootings took place Dec. 14, wanted to do something to comfort the families whose children died, she said.
The cost of purchasing the angels, which are sold at $52 each, was prohibitive for Daly and Rose.
"I thought, 'Call Barb and Phil,' " Rose said.
After talking with Rose, Shanley agreed to contributed half the cost of sending the angels to the families. The remainder of the cost will come from money saved by not buying her son a Christmas gift this year, said Rose.
Rose and Daly decided to wait until after Christmas to mail the angels to allow time to include a handwritten note to each family, which the aunt will write.
Each family will receive a different angel from Evergreen Fire Art, which has been offering them for the past 20 years.
"It took my aunt a while to decide," said Rose. "She wanted every one to be different."
"We chose one from each year with the thought that each of these children were different," said Shanley.
"We have a new design each year," he explained.
This year's Evergreen angel is named "Michelle" and was selected from a design in a national contest, said Shanley. In previous years, the angel was designed in-house by staff, he said.
"We have all the others available," said Shanley.
Many people who come to the gallery and buy angels are return customers, he said.
"It seems that purchases are for almost every reason," Shanley said. "We get everything from the joyous to the sad.
"The concept of an angel is a positive, loving and emotional attachment."
The 2,000 angels that Evergreen Fine Art orders at the beginning of the holiday season are shipped all over the world, said Shanley.
"We'll be on a plane and see an Evergreen angel," he said.
Shanley and Hadley have continued a tradition with the angel pendants that former owner Virginia Haley began 20 years ago.
"We have just kept that going," said Shanley. "We have a nice working relationship with Mount Evans."
Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-350-1042.