OC woman selling Sandy Hook remembrance magnets, lapel pins

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Fundraiser to benefit Newtown, Conn. school

Cindy Nevitt / Shelleymarie Magan of Ocean City is selling car magnets and lapel pins to raise money for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Cindy Nevitt / Shelleymarie Magan of Ocean City is selling car magnets and lapel pins to raise money for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

OCEAN CITY – The day after she heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., Shelleymarie Magan started thinking about what she could do to help.

Within a month, she had – with the help of a graphic artist – designed an awareness ribbon for reproduction on car magnets and lapel pins, and ordered 1,000 of each from an American manufacturer. Within two weeks, she had sold her entire inventory. Encouraged by the response, she ordered another 1,000 of each item, started researching the possibility of adding lanyards to her offerings, placed sales baskets on the counters of businesses throughout Cape May County, and involved friends as far away as Florida and California in promoting the sale of the $5 items.

“It’s very therapeutic for people to buy them,” Magan said of the green ribbons bearing a pattern of 20 white handprints and six apples.

She chose the symbols for children and educators to commemorate the lives of the 26 victims of the Dec. 14, 2012 school shooting. Ken Brown, owner of Cape Island Graphics in Lower Township, used the handprints of his sons, third-grader Matthew and first-grader Jackson, in creating the hand prints on the awareness ribbon.

“It gives people a way to help,” Magan said.

Magan, who oversaw five revisions of the ribbon design before giving approval to the final one, was adamant that the design be simple yet meaningful. While other awareness ribbons have sayings such as “Never forget” or the date on them, hers does not.

“There are no words on it,” she said of the ribbon design. “There just are no words to say. There just are no words to heal the pain.”

The awareness lapel pins are manufactured in Colorado by the same company that has produced awareness pins for the Columbine school shooting and the Aurora movie theater shooting.

Magan, an Ocean City resident whose 9/11 birthday compels her to annually decorate the boardwalk memorial benches of four 9/11 victims, is not new to championing causes. “My friends say I take on the weight of the world,” she said.

The Sandy Hook tragedy made her want to do something that would matter. Her ultimate goal is to hand deliver a check to the superintendent of the Sandy Hook school sometime this summer. All proceeds will be donated, she said, to the superintendent, who will know how best to spend the money.

“I try and take things that are tragic and somehow make them hopeful and positive,” she said of her motivation in selling the awareness ribbons. “What can we learn? How can we make the people who have suffered feel better?”

This weekend, Magan, who teaches aerobics on Saturdays in Avalon, will be selling the awareness ribbons at an aerobics convention in New York. On Feb. 23, Cabanas restaurant in Cape May will hold a benefit for Sandy Hook, and Magan’s awareness ribbons will be available for purchase.

Although it will be months before her donation reaches Newtown, Conn., her ribbons have already made it there through her fiancé, Stephen Van Natten, who works in the Lehigh County, Pa. district attorney’s office with a woman whose grandson lost friends from the school in the tragedy.

Where to buy Sandy Hook awareness ribbons:

OCEAN CITY

Positively 4th Street Cafe

The Sneaker Shop

Sun Rose Words & Music

Weichert Realtors

Goodyear

Sixth Street Firehouse

MARMORA

Pappy’s

Yesterday’s

CAPE MAY

Cape May Ferry Terminal

ERMA
Erma Deli

VILLAS

Public library

NORTH CAPE MAY

Heart to Heart Florists

Or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , see SandyHookPins.com or find Magan on Facebook under Shelleymarie Magan.

Car magnets and lapel pins cost $5 each and are available at various businesses in Cape May County in addition to email. Car magnets and lapel pins cost $5 each and are available at various businesses in Cape May County in addition to email.


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