Sandy Casey Scholarship Fund has raised $4,000 to date

Banner staff

MANCHESTER — The Sandy Casey Scholarship Fund has raised $4,000 in its first few weeks, including donations from area businesses and individuals who have been moved by Casey's story and her dedication to special education.

The scholarship fund was established earlier this month to honor the life of the East Dorset native, who was killed in the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1.

The first scholarship will be awarded to a college-bound senior, enrolled in a Bennington County public or private high school, whose character mirrors Sandy Casey's, especially her interest in special education. The first recipient of what will be at least a $2,500 scholarship will be announced at the second annual Bennington Banner-Manchester Journal All-Star Gala in June.

Along with their generous gifts, several donors have written notes to convey their reasons for donating to the fund.

"Although we never had the opportunity to meet Sandy, we are touched by her story and the support we have witnessed," wrote Jim and Patti Evans of Manchester.

Anne Lemke of Manchester expressed similar sentiments. "Although I did not know Sandy Casey and her family, I would like to honor her memory of working, helping and teaching children with special needs," she wrote. "It's so important to the children and so important for our society."

Casey, 31, was a special education teacher in Manhattan Beach, Calif. She pursued a career in special education after graduating from Burr and Burton Academy in 2000, earning a degree at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland and a master's from Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. She was engaged to be married.

"What we read about and heard about Sandy is uplifting," said Tom Dee, president of Southwestern Vermont Health Care. "She was a beautiful, uplifting young woman. We're glad to participate and be part of something the help overcome the wounds of this tragedy."

New England Newspapers Inc., the parent company of the Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal, has made an initial gift of $2,500 to the fund.

"The Banner and the Journal are honored to be a part of creating a lasting memorial to an outstanding daughter of Bennington County whose life reflected so many of the values we hold dear," NENI president Fredric Rutberg said.

The Sandy Casey Scholarship Fund will be overseen by a committee, including Sandy's father Steven Casey, the president and the publisher of The Bennington Banner, Brattleboro Reformer and Manchester Journal, and a representative of Burr and Burton Academy. The Bennington Banner has established a nonprofit corporation to administer the fund.

Donations may be made directly to the Sandy Casey Scholarship Fund, in care of the Bennington Banner, 425 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201; or by visiting Donors and their contributions will be listed periodically in the paper unless otherwise noted. Donations are tax-deductible.

Donations to date include the following:

Blue Benn Diner, $100

West Mountain Animal Hospital, $100

James Evans, $100

Norton David Kennedy, $25

Anne Lemke, $100

John Malcolm, $50

Raymond Bolton, $100

New England Newspapers, $2,500

Southwest Vermont Health Care, $500

Greg Sukiennik, $100

Susan Therrien, $50

Joseph Fuller, $50

Dianna Scott, $25

Kevin Moran, $100

Anonymous, $100


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