Sylvie McGowan receives 2015 Ambassador of Hope Award

Our 2015 choice was a very simple one. There is no one more deserving or who embodies what we at Hearts of Hope are about than Newtown native and Danbury resident Sylvie McGowan.

Shortly after tragically losing her seven year old son James a year ago [in 2014], Sylvie began attending monthly Hearts of Hope Newtown chapter events with her sisters, friends and extended family. Painting hearts at these events became a way of reconnecting with loved ones after experiencing such a profound loss, and an idea was born.

Sylvie felt very strongly that every individual who helped, supported, and cared for James in their family's darkest days should be personally thanked. Sylvie, along with her family and friends, painted 100 hearts during the summer of 2015 so that Sylvie could personally deliver one to every doctor, nurse, first responder, dispatcher, med tech, and surgeon that helped her family. She visited police stations, firehouses, and hospitals to share hugs, tears, and above all else, her profound gratitude.

We are amazed by her vision, her courage and her dedication in finding such a meaningful way to honor her precious James. Furthermore, we are incredibly proud that our national recipient is an active and well-loved volunteer from our Hearts of Hope Newtown Chapter.

Honoring our 2015 Ambassador of Hope, Sylvie McGowan. Left to right: Judith Pedersen Hearts of Hope Executive Director, Sylvie McGowan, active member of the Hearts of Hope Newtown Chapter, Kristen Mattera, Hearts of Hope, Newtown Chapter


2015 Ambassador of Hope

Each year, Hearts of Hope chooses one outstanding individual to receive our national Ambassador of Hope Award. This award pays tribute to someone who goes above and beyond to give of themselves, their time, and their talents to make our world a better place. They do this by spreading hope through their own efforts or through their community connections.