Local resident honors Newtown victims with banner

Published: Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 12:58 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 12:33 p.m. CDT

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After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn., Newton resident “Stormy” Storm knew she had to do something.

She made a banner to honor the victims of the school shootings. The banner was made up of hand-drawn flowers, colorful rainbows, stars, children’s hand outlines and stars. She even drew angels.

“I thought, ‘Now this is an idea, because it comes from the heart,” Storm said. “I bought all the supplies. I went into different areas of Newton, and got people to sign it. I drew it free hand and I love to draw”

“The stars on the banner represent each of the victims,” Storm sad. “The hardest part was drawing the angels ... I starting crying while drawing them, and putting the names in them.”

She wanted to make a statement that Newton kept Newtown in their thoughts and prayers, and decided to add a personal touch. She was even able to get Newton Mayor Michael Hansen to sign it.

“I went into a building, and they informed me the mayor was in,” Storm sad. “I asked him to sign it, and he did.”

She also went into the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, and asked if anyone would like to sign it. Storm was very pleased with the friendliness of the the staff.

“They were fantastic,” Storm said.

She also traveled around local businesses to gather signatures, and many were happy to sign. She was a little disappointed that the Newton Community School District did not let her bring her banner to the school to sign. She did make contact with the schools, but they were unavailable to establish a set date.

Even though Storm was not able to get children’s signatures at the schools, she did find other means to obtain them through Hy-Vee.

“The people at Hy-Vee were wonderful,” Storm said. “They let me set up a display , up front, where I could talk to people, and tell them about it.”

To add another personal touch, she inserted a picture of her cat, Princess Petunia.

“My cat was in a box (already) so I decided to take a picture,” Storm said.

She also added some decoration to the photo, to give her cat a little more show. Storm added a top hat to her cat. She would have loved for her cat to have worn a decorative item for real but said that her cat would not allow any items on her.

A dog named Hope also was represented in the banner. Her friend adopted a dog that will be used as a therapy dog. Storm said that the dog is very friendly and couldn’t think of a better dog to be put in the banner.

Storm stopped by the Newton Daily News to show the banner, and as she unrolled it across the paper’s 10-foot-long conference table, it soon became apparent that the table would not be long enough.

She did make a banner before, but not as long, and said that she will be mailing the banner soon.

Storm has always been involved in the arts. She has participated in numerous plays at Newton Community Theatre and was even scheduled to be in the play “Oklahoma.” But she was unable to fulfill her role requirements because of an illness.

Storm would like to thank Jamie Grout from Newton, who has promoted her through Grout’s website Goodradio.tv and Facebook page.

Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at mshepard@newtondailynews.com.

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