When he heard the news about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Doug Bogan hugged his mother tight. Like many in his community, the Wilton resident and Bucknell senior would soon discover that several of his friends had personal connections to the victims.
Though grieving, Bogan saw an opportunity to provide some comfort to his own community: "Music can be uplifting in times when there seems to be no way out," says the electrical engineering and music major, himself a performer and DJ.
One month later, hundreds of people gathered at Danbury's Tuxedo Junction nightclub to hear jazz, hip-hop, folk music and more from 10 bands at Come Together for Newtown, a benefit concert organized by Bogan and three friends. "It was especially impactful to see the people of Newtown there," he says. "I could sense just how worn out they were. It was so moving to see their continued perseverance in dealing with the tragedy."
So far, the project has raised $2,000 to establish the Come Together for Newtown Scholarship through the Newtown Scholarship Association. The association has promised to extend the scholarship to $2,000 annually over four years, and the checks keep coming in.
In March 2013, Bogan and his friends received a $1,000 Act of Kindness Award from the nonprofit organization Random Acts, but to Bogan, it's not about the recognition.
"We have a responsibility to devote ourselves to those things that mean a lot to us," he says. "I recognize the importance of thinking outside of yourself, which happens a lot at Bucknell. In many ways, that's what Bucknell is."