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Will Legacy of Jessica's Killing Change Rosemont?

Will last week's tragedy unite Rosemont for years or just days?

When officials in January to ask for help, no one responded. But over the weekend, made possible by a number of donations from local businesses.

Last week, , and much of the talk was focused on the positive: encouraging residents to volunteer and get to know their kids better. At that meeting, scores of attendees signed up to get more information about . A high school booster club , and volunteers have spent hours .

All this was brought up by a horrific tragedy, but does that mean it will fade away once the homicide of 13-year-old Jessica Funk-Haslam no longer makes headlines? There are plenty of other issues in the area that could use pairs of eyes and hands: Rosemont's schools are again being hammered by , and the owners of Rosemont's most prominent shopping center are in the middle of a .

can be found all over Rosemont, but this tragic incident has–at least for the time being–united the neighborhood. Will it stay that way, and will this killing be a catalyst for lasting change, or will the feeling around town revert back to the way it was a few weeks ago?

Rosemont, what do you think? Will Jessica Funk-Haslam's death bring about a lasting change in Rosemont, or is the strong sense of community only a temporary effect? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Eva C March 14, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Sadly I think once it fades from the news the community will go back to what it was before.
Tina Wong March 14, 2012 at 03:52 PM
No, it does not have to go back to apathy or letting others take care of business. I hope that Jessica's tragic death will make us all commit to being involved in our neighborhood and community. If every family becomes involved in some way it will transform our neighborhood. This is a working class neighborhood and I know many people spend their hours just trying to just make ends meet and survive. But if every family becomes involved in some way, it will make a difference for us in becoming a strong community. I urge everyone to find a way to contribute, such as through the schools, the Rosemont Community Association, Neighborhood Watch, sports programs for youth, local politics, etc.--- just anywhere that you have an interest and see a need.
Rafael March 14, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Cody, I think its only temporary. I hope its not but I know in order to help out your community, school or others this would take effort. I don't think we (Rosemont Community) give a care about other people in the long term as a whole.
Cody Kitaura (Editor) March 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Rafael and Eva, Is there anything that could be done to fight that and extend the feeling of residents caring about each other? And if people here don't "care about other people in the long term," is that something unique to Rosemont, or is that found everywhere nowadays?
Cody Kitaura (Editor) March 15, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Thanks Tina. It seems you had this kind of attitude long ago -- do you feel like more people are likely to join you in taking small steps to improve Rosemont?
Julie A. Thompson March 15, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I agree with Tina, this can help Rosemont change for the better if we take the necessary steps to make that happen. Change requires Action! Read the post below: http://rosemont.patch.com/blog_posts/taking-small-steps-to-make-rosemont-safer There have been multiple crimes in our area, this one just rocked us to the core. The age of the victim, the brutality of the crime, all has hit us hard. I will be honest in saying that I personally have been shocked at some of the statements I have heard made by youth and adults. We have become a very apathetic society. Our children, teens, seem to think that it can't happen to them, yes bad things happen all the time! We must be able to care about our fellow man. Show support, make our streets and homes safer. Since living in Rosemont, I have had my car broken into, tried to steal it, but anti-theft device prevented that. My garage has been broken into, my two dogs gave chase in that, and I have had teens walk straight up my driveway to the front of my garage, thinking no one is paying attention, to try and help themselves to our stuff. We as a society must be involved. "Bad things continue to happen, when good men do not take a stand!" I have seen droves of kids walking down the street cussing, blocking traffic and looking for trouble. I have seen kids and adults on one bike and pushing another, why aren't they being stopped by police? Speeders flying down residential streets! We need to take a STAND! No More!
trish March 25, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I'm weighing in on the side of change for the positive here as well: I'm not sure how I'm going to help but I'm going to try. I'm new to the patch and so far I am really impressed with the organization of patch.com and Cody in particular for this Rosemont version, bravo! At a time when journalism is at such a low point on the national scene, and old-school investigative journalism is nil (i.e., how could the 2008 financial crises sneak up like that if there was real journalism and not just "reporting") you have found a way in this site to give journalism real meaning, like giving this community of Rosemont a chance to unite, albeit over a heartbreaking tragedy like Jessica FH, and retake their community and lives, literally. We can although make a difference, and everyone can start by simply turning out to watch the baseball games, even if your kids or grandkids don't play, you can meet your neighbors and support the community. Instead of watching sports on tv you can watch in real life and root for kids you know! If there was more support and interest more kids would join the teams and find better ways to spend their time like being in the park in the day, instead of at night. The first time I turned into Rosemont and saw all the pink ribbons on the trees I had to pull over I cried so hard.

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