Category Archives: News

Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund Announces Mini-Grant Recipients

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce the recipients of its third annual mini-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 10 project proposals were awarded mini-grants:

  • Production of the 10th anniversary of Opera del West, the opera in residence at the Center for Arts in Natick
  • The Akaa Project’s creative arts programming and upcycled library furniture construction for its small village school in rural Ghana, an area previously lacking access to education
  • Collaboration with Jane Doe, Inc. and others supporting the traveling exhibit “Displays of Character:  Men Reimagining Manhood” toward ending gender-based violence
  • Girls’ LEAP Summer Mentor Program in Dorchester focused on leadership training and effective relationships
  • In support of the creation of intergenerational connections through the Golden Tones’ collaboration with area high school chorus singers
  • Development of a teacher’s guide and curriculum materials on teen dating violence prevention using a comic book format to reach teenagers
  • Support of Wayland High School Innovation Realization Lab, the new makerspace where students in a class pursue creative functional art projects
  • Sponsorship of a student-initiated, professionally-produced album by all three A Capella groups at Wayland High School
  • Funding for two college students from Wayland to produce a documentary film about a Bolivian wildlife refuge and its environmental and social impacts
  • Support for The Second Step’s residential and community-based programs:  a ground-breaking initiative to provide adolescent men and women impacted by domestic violence with tools to change the direction of their lives

New lecture program honors memory of rising Elon student

Elon University: New lecture program honors memory of rising Elon student. A nonprofit organization named for an Elon University freshman killed in 2011 just weeks before starting college is funding a new lecture series to teach young people about healthy relationships and the prevention of domestic violence.

A gift from the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund, which was founded by Malcolm L. Astley and Mary K. Dunne, supports the inaugural events of the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Lecture Series.

LDAMF Escalation Event

On October 21, The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund presented a private premiere
ESCALATION
a powerful, emotionally engaging 40-minute film that educates young people about violence and empowers them to work for change.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
The Showcase SuperLux

55 Boylston Street * Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
cocktail attire * hors d’oeuvres and drinks * space is limited
join us…join the movement
*
honoring Sharon Love
founder of the One Love Foundation

Honoring Lauren Astley’s memory at Wayland site

Wayland Town Crier 10/2/15: Honoring Lauren Astley’s memory at Wayland site. Some 30 volunteers came together to honor Lauren Astley’s memory by working at Wayland’s Habitat for Humanity site on Saturday. Construction had begun in January 2014, and with two duplex houses being built for four families, there is still plenty of work to be done.

Slain Wayland teen’s parents applaud anti-violence program funded by Patriots

Wayland Town Crier 9/15/15: Slain Wayland teen’s parents applaud anti-violence program funded by Patriots. The parents of slain Wayland teenager Lauren Astley joined the state attorney general and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft Tuesday to announce a new initiative that will educate high school students about dating violence. Dubbed “Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership,” the program aims to stop domestic violence and sexual assault by reaching out to young people and helping the adults in their lives spot warning signs of unhealthy relationships.

Patriots give $500K to fight teen dating violence

WCVB 9/15/15: Patriots give $500K to fight teen dating violence. Attorney General Maura Healey announced a new partnership called “Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership,” which takes a multi-faceted approach to violence prevention education.

The program, funded with $500,000 from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and $150,000 from the Attorney General’s office, will provide training for students, faculty and coaches at 90 public high schools in Massachusetts.

Honoring an Outstanding Wayland High School Senior

At Fine Arts Awards Night on June 5, the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Award was presented by Mary Dunne. The annual award is:

“Given to an outstanding arts student who exemplifies musicianship and kindness, is cutting-edge progressive and appreciates a good laugh.
Lauren was a wonderfully unique, young woman, who saw the art in fashion,
Loved the camaraderie of singing with her fellow Muses,
And enjoyed playing the French horn in a multi-generational ensemble.
She did all of those things while wearing fabulous high-heeled shoes and a contagious smile.”

The award was presented to Gene Barton, an outstanding student who was a director in the T-Tones; was accepted to All-State and plans to study music in college. He plays the trumpet and has been a member of the Wayland High School Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Concert Choir & T-Tones.

Lauren Remembered at Elon University

Jan Fuller

University Chaplain Jan Fuller and several members of the Class of 2015 participated in the Baccalaureate service through song, prayer and personal reflections on May 22. Source: Elon.edu

The Rev. Dr. Janet Fuller’s remarks:

“In the midst of our celebration to honor your accomplishments, we also remember a member of the class of 2015 who is not with us today. Lauren Dunne Astley was a gracious presence with us in the early preparations and relationships in the spring and summer before we all got here. She connected with many members of her class and was beloved and befriended by many of you.

Unfortunately, she never made it to Elon. She was murdered by her former boyfriend, two months after she ended the relationship. And while we were and are shocked by this terrible crime, it happens to 3 or 4 young women every day in this country, 8000 of them since Lauren’s death in July 2011.

Lauren was beautiful, popular, and smart. She made friends easily, as many of you can attest. She loved to sing and to shop, and to talk half the night. She was beautiful, had a sweet and bright spirit, made friends easily, and loved her many friends who loved her back as intensely. She sparkled. We will always remember her with warm affection and gratitude at Elon.

We are grateful that Lauren’s parents are here today to help us tenderly remember Lauren, to celebrate your success, and to urge us to act and move, vote and speak to change every part of our culture that encourages or makes violence against girls and women normal or acceptable. The absence of her loving spirit with us now reminds us that there is work to do to change our cultures and world, to teach healthy grieving, safe break ups, and to create a society that engenders the full meaning of liberty and justice for all.

Lauren would want us to celebrate the beauty of your lives, and the hope you represent for this world we share. Let us together make a difference in Lauren’s honor! She would say to us now, Keep on Sparkling!”

Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund Announces Mini-Grant Recipients

3/1/15 – The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce the recipients of its second annual mini-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 15 project proposals were awarded mini-grants:

  • Creation of a webinar on resources for augmenting high school curricula in relationship awareness, communication, being an active bystander and standing with your friend
  • Promoting awareness in and education of young males on how to Stand Up against dating and break-up violence
  • Girls’ LEAP Summer Mentor Program in Dorchester focused on leadership training and effective relationships
  • Funding for a new production by Wayland High School Theatre Ensembles’ graduating seniors, as well as enhancing the Spring musical
  • The purchase of tools for a new medium – 3D printing pens for Wayland High School art classes’ creation of 3D sculptures
  • Campaign and art contest on healthy relationships for Middle School and High School students on Cape Cod
  • The Golden Tones’ Chorus musical outreach program to homeless shelters
  • Mentors in Violence Prevention Training for staff and administrators at Wayland High School
  • The Courage to Care Healthy Relationship Summit for High Schools – at Lincoln-Sudbury High School taking place on March 13
  • Sponsorship of a Wayland teacher’s Boston Marathon run benefitting Embrace a Family in Natick
  • Think Peace Benefit Concert in Memory of Andrew Tavares – violence prevention performance in Dorchester includes music, dance and the launching of an original violence prevention comic book
  • A college student’s thesis project – working on a farm and the creation of a documentary film on sustainable agriculture and impactful daily actions
  • Documentation of the resources and assets now in place in the Wayland Public Schools that support emerging areas of focus from the Wayland School Committee Summit Health and Wellness Group — including self-regulation, stress management, resilience, moral development and character, and other areas of the Health and Wellness Curriculum.
  • Support for REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, a non-profit organization providing safety and support to survivors of abuse while engaging communities to promote healthy relationships and prevent domestic violence.

Wayland School Committee member honored

Wayland Town Crier 11/29/14: Wayland School Committee member honored. Wayland School Committee member Malcolm Astley was recently honored by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Dr. Astley was named an “All-State School Committee Member” in recognition of his strong commitment to the education and welfare of children and for his clear understanding of his role as a school committee member.

The award was presented at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.

The All-State School Committee was established to recognize significant achievement on the part of local school committee members annually. This recognition is intended to honor school committee members who, during the previous year, have made a significant contribution to their community or their school committee through specific action or as an inspiration and role model for their peers and constituents.

“Malcolm Astley was thrust into the public spotlight as the result of tragedy that struck his family. In the face of sorrow of losing his daughter, he channeled his energies into something positive, becoming one of the state’s most respected spokespersons for victims of violence and abuse,” according to the statement accompanying the award presentation. “He has spoken powerfully to a nationwide audience about respect and forgiveness and justice in the face of loss.”

Astley was a principal before retiring and joining the Wayland School Committee, and is a developmental psychologist by training.