By Adam Swift
A group of local residents are looking to make Shirley Street a beacon of unity in the light of tragedy. Tuesday night, the Town Council accepted a donation of just over $12,000 fromÂ Grace Kingsbery. That donation will be used to plant 19 trees along Shirley Street in memory of David Green and Ramona Cooper. Green, a retired State Trooper, and Cooper, an Air Force Veteran, were murdered in June of 2021. â€œI did this with my husband, and our neighbors, Bob and Amy Carroll,â€ said Kingsbery. â€œWe organized the fundraiser, so I am speaking on behalf of them. We are representing dozens of neighbors and friends committed to dedicating a living memorial to David Green and Ramona Cooper.â€ â€œThey were two members of our community whose lives were taken in a horrendous act of racially motivated crime.â€ Kingsbery said the funds will be used to plant a total of 19 October Glory Red Maple trees along Shirley Street. Two of the trees were planted last summer to mark the one-year anniversary of the deaths. â€œAs citizens of the town, we are seeking to grow more unified in love and respect for each other,â€ said Kingsbery. â€œWe want to express gratitude to each individual who is committed to rising up from this tragedy with a sense of dedication to make Winthrop a better and stronger community. Weâ€™d also like to thank the town and (the council) for expressing unified support for this project and for handling the logistical challenge to help it come to fruition.â€ Kingsbery said the remaining 17 trees will likely be planted by the end of June. â€œThe Tree Committee, of course, appreciates this donation, and itâ€™s sad that it came because of such a tragedy,â€ said Tree Committee member Tom Derderian. Derderian also noted that Winthrop needs to find a way to plant more trees in the town in general. â€œWe need money in the town to do these green things,â€ he said. â€œWe have the great elephant in the room of global warming, climate change, and our ocean location.â€ Town Council President James Letterie noted that the Winthrop Foundation made a sizable donation to the town that will be used to plant a number of trees in town within the next six months.