By Heather Johns
LEWISBURG, Pa. — For one terrible moment on Dec. 14, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting seemed to stun the country into silence. But for Doug Bogan '13 and his friends in Wilton, Conn., the natural response was music.
He was with his mother when the news broke. "She just hugged me really tight," Bogan remembered. "The shooting was so close to home that I was immediately overwhelmed." In the hours afterward, he learned just how close it really was: "I found out a couple of my friends had direct ties to the little ones who passed away."
The shooting had a significant impact on Bogan, one he may not fully comprehend until much later. "I won't ever understand the gravity of the tragedy until I have young ones of my own," he admitted. But Bogan also believed he could help his grieving community now.
Come Together For Newtown
"Music can be uplifting in times when there seems to be no way out," said Bogan. "I realized that I needed to organize the Come Together for Newtown benefit concert to provide citizens of Newtown and the rest of Fairfield County with just that — music to support the healing/rebuilding process."
As a senior electrical engineering and music major at Bucknell University, as well as an up-and-coming a DJ and mash-up artist, Bogan had all the tools and connections to make Come Together For Newtown happen.
Working with friends Mike Drogalis, Mario Baggio and Melody Curran — "This was definitely a job for four," Bogan noted — he secured Tuxedo Junction as the concert venue and reached out to college-age bands to perform. The Wilton YMCA sponsored the concert.
A little more than two weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting, Come Together For Newtown lifted the night with music. "The concert was absolutely amazing," said Bogan.
The concert drew hundreds of people, and raised thousands of dollars for the Newtown Scholarship Association, which will support a graduating Newtown senior who attended Sandy Hook Elementary. Bogan said he plans on attending the awards ceremony in June to help honor the recipients.
"Everyone understood the nature of the event, making for a really wonderful evening," he said. "Donations keep streaming in each day — absolutely awesome. We never envisioned the response we received from the community surrounding this event. We did our part in helping heal through music."
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