THE United States consul-general for Melbourne, Mary Warlick will be visiting Bendigo next month.
The consul-general is visiting the region to say thank you to residents for their support in the aftermath of the Newtown Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting which claimed the lives of 27 people, including 20 children.
In the weeks after the December tragedy, Bendigo organisation PEACE Incorporated organised the creation of a mural and cards with personal messages of hope sent to those affected by the massacre.
Bendigo Spirit basketball players, local ministers, City of Greater Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell and Bendigo families all took part in creating personal messages which were then sent to the school.
PEACE Incorporated founder and president Dr Phil West said the aim of the organisation was to support children who had been affected by war and terrorism through creative arts.
He said creating cards and a mural was a simple act of kindness that gave Bendigo children an opportunity to respond to the tragedy.
Dr West said he was proud that this small gesture had received recognition from the United States consul and that it was a fantastic honour to have Ms Warlick visit the city.
“It is great to be recognised,” he said.
“What the community did was a small gesture, but it is good to see that we have been recognised for our support.”
Dr West said Ms Warlick had not visited the city before and was looking forward to meeting her and talking to her about PEACE and the work they do in the community.
Ms Warlick will be in Bendigo on April 11.
– KRISTIN ALEBAKIS