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 from 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. “I did this with my husband, and our neighbors, Bob and Amy Carroll,” said Kingsbery. “We 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.” “They were two members of our community whose lives were taken in a horrendous act of racially motivated crime.” 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. “As citizens of the town, we are seeking to grow more unified in love and respect for each other,” said Kingsbery. “We 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. We’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.” Kingsbery said the remaining 17 trees will likely be planted by the end of June. “The Tree Committee, of course, appreciates this donation, and it’s sad that it came because of such a tragedy,” 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. “We need money in the town to do these green things,” he said. “We have the great elephant in the room of global warming, climate change, and our ocean location.” 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.