Category Archives: News

Video Honors Indiana Teenager Murdered By Ex-Boyfriend

CBS Chicago 10/6/14: Video Honors Indiana Teenager Murdered By Ex-Boyfriend. A video has been launched in honor of a Northwest Indiana teenager who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, and as a way to get the message of teen dating violence out. The five minute long video is part of an anti-violence message aimed at teenagers put together by the Caring Place in Valparaiso.

Performance Raises Awareness Of Teen Dating Violence To Honor Wayland Victim

CBS Boston 9/27/14: Performance Raises Awareness Of Teen Dating Violence To Honor Wayland Victim. A performance to draw attention to teen dating violence was presented in Lexington Saturday in honor of Lauren Astley, the Wayland teen who was killed in 2011 by her ex-boyfriend Nathaniel Fujita. Lauren’s father, Dr. Malcolm Astley, took part in the performance of “Break the Silence” at Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington.

Lexington event hopes to stop the silence on dating violence

no more dating violenceBoston Globe 9/21/14: Lexington event hopes to stop the silence on dating violence. According to the American Psychological Association, about 1 in 3 teens and young adults reports being the victim of dating violence through physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse. One of the faces of this disturbing statistic belongs to 18-year-old Lauren Astley, who was killed July 3, 2011, by her ex-boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita, just weeks after their graduation from Wayland High School. Time has not eased for Malcolm Astley the loss of his only child, yet the Wayland resident remains committed to sparing others his anguish. “Lauren’s loss has its horror and pain,” Astley said, “but it’s the three to four women killed each day in this country [due to dating violence] that she stands for.”

Through support from the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund, a free program will further that mission. “Break the Silence: An Evening of Drama, Poetry, Dance, and Music” will be held on Saturday, September 27, at 7:30pm at Jonas Clarke Middle School, 17 Stedman Road, in Lexington.

Astley Fund supporting ‘Break the Silence’ performance

Wayland Town Crier 9/23/14: Astley Fund supporting ‘Break the Silence’ performance. An evening of music, dance, poetry and theater with a message will open the Munroe Saturday Nights season in Lexington on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The show is an original performance written and designed by Lexington residents and artists. Free and open to the public, the show will use drama, music, poetry and dance to shine a light on how relationships become violent, how victims and observers can recognize the signs, and how concerned friends and family can intervene in the cycle that leads to violence.

Broadside: Preventing breakup violence

NECN 6/18/14: Broadside: Preventing breakup violence. On July 11, 2011, the community of Wayland, Massachusetts, embraced a grieving family and paid respects to a beloved teenager. It was the memorial service for Lauren Dunne Astley, a warm, talented 18 year old who had just graduated from Wayland High School when she died at the hands of her former boyfriend.

After the service, a local minister shared the hopes of many for Lauren’s parents. “I hope they know that there’s always new life, in ways we don’t understand, and I hope they know that the community here really does care,” said Rev. Stephen O. Voysey of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Weston. The former boyfriend who murdered Lauren is now serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. As for her parents, they continue a mission of teaching and healing in Lauren’s memory.

Spreading the joy of classical music

Wayland Town Crier 6/9/14: Spreading the joy of classical music. Twin brothers Matthew and Andrew Ludwig, cellists and students at Wayland High School, have been awarded a mini-grant from the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund to encourage the appreciation of classical music in Wayland’s youth. “Most people listen to music on the radio, but they don’t have a chance to be part of the chorus or know the theory behind the different rhythms,” Andrew Ludwig said. “It makes you think differently.”

Parents of slain teen dedicated to ending dating violence

Source: Boston Globe article

Boston Globe 6/5/14: Parents of slain teen dedicated to ending dating violence. In Malcolm Astley’s house, it looks as if his daughter Lauren will be back any moment to pack for college. In her bedroom, which she painted sea-foam green, there are stacks of clothes on the bed, a Vera Bradley bag hanging on the closet door, fashion magazines on her desk, and a book her father bought her to take to Elon University in North Carolina: “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College.” But Lauren Astley never got the chance to go to college. On July 3, 2011, about a month after she graduated from Wayland High School, she was killed by her former boyfriend, who was still enraged that she had broken up with him in the spring.

Dunne Named Brookline Woman of the Year

Brookline Patch 3/18/14: Dunne Named Brookline Woman of the Year. The Brookline Commission for Women is honored to announce that Mary Dunne has been named the 2014 Brookline Woman of the Year. Currently a preschool teacher for the Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP) at Driscoll School, Mary has been an educator in the Brookline schools for 35 years. She is an enthusiastic, loving, creative and patient educator who works with children whose individual, complex and unique situations create challenges in learning. Mary has dedicated her life to children, their education and their well-being.

Massachusetts First Lady in Sudbury Friday for Healthy Relationship Summit

Sudbury Patch 3/14/14 Massachusetts First Lady in Sudbury Friday for Healthy Relationship Summit. The First Lady of Massachusetts will be in Sudbury on Friday, speaking with a group of high school leaders from around the state during a summit about healthy relationships.

Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School’s Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Team hosts the Courage to Care Healthy Relationship Summit from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

Grant Recipients Announced by The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund

3/1/14 – The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce the recipients of its first-ever grant program to fund dynamic projects promoting the three arenas of its mission: Effective Teen Relationships & Violence Prevention, the Arts, and Community Service.

In Lauren’s spirit and memory, small grants have recently been awarded to individuals and groups with dynamic project ideas in the above areas.

A total of 14 project proposals were awarded mini-grants:

  • The Courage to Care Healthy Relationship Summit – at Lincoln-Sudbury High School taking place on March 14
  • Creation of an evening of a full palette of original arts presentations focused on the challenges and hopes of relationships – at the Munroe Arts Center, in Lexington, tentatively scheduled for fall 2014
  • Evaluation of Mentors in Violence Prevention and Analysis of the Courage to Care Summit scheduled for March 14 at Lincoln Sudbury High School
  • Girls’ LEAP Summer Mentor Program in Dorchester focused on leadership training and effective relationships
  • The Golden Tones’ Chorus musical outreach program
  • Know the Signs:  Public Service Ad Design Campaign on effective relationships – at UMass-Lowell
  • Mentors in Violence Prevention Training for selected Wayland High School staff
  • Open Spirit’s Elemental Arts – Day of Creative Exploration – in Framingham
  • Presentation of “The Yellow Dress” and mentor discussions at Lincoln-Sudbury High School
  • Presentation of “You the Man” and mentor discussions at Waltham High School
  • Saying and Doing it with Classical Music for young children – Wayland
  • Surviving in Numbers, spotlighting the airing of actual experiences in dating violence with the goals of awareness and prevention – Newton
  • Think Peace Fundraiser and Violence Prevention Awareness in Memory of Andrew Tavares – Dorchester
  • Wayland High School Audio-visual Upgrade in support of student skills in performance