Memorial Bench — Westtown Class of 2017

photoA year ago, Grace Latta, a freshman at Westtown School, asked us if she and her classmates could create a memorial bench for Nathaniel. We were thrilled by the idea. Grace’s father built a beautiful bench out of ipe wood, a plaque was installed, and twenty-five members of the class gathered April 17, 2014, to sign their names to the underside of the bench. They place it under the sugar maple planted in Nathaniel’s memory two years ago, which appropriately overlooks the Middle School playground where he watched over these students when they were in 6th grade. Here they are gathered on and around the bench for a photo.

How deeply moved we are to know that these students carry a part of Nathaniel with them, always.

1,000 Cranes

Members of the Westtown Monthly Meeting and students and teachers at Westtown School folded cranes — 1,000 to be exact  — in support of the Asselin family, and in memory of Teacher Nathaniel. Here pictured are 100 cranes, folded by Middle School students, presented to Carrie and Judy in late May. Denis was presented with the other 900 when he returned home in June. Thank you, Westtown friends, for your support and love. And special thanks to Ginny Sutton for organizing the event for Upper School students and Meeting Members, and to Megan Rose for organizing the Middle School folding.


 Hat Sale!

Westtown colleague and dear friend, Anny Ewing, ordered these great caps for “Walking With Nathaniel” supporters, and raised neary $500 from selling 50 of them. Muchas gracias, Anny (and our middle school models above)!


Half Marathons to Support the Walk

marathonWhile Denis walks, Nathaniel’s sister Carrie is running. She completed her first half-marathon last October to honor Nathaniel (the Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon in Philadelphia), and she ran her second on Saturday, April 28 in Ocean City, Maryland with Westtown colleague Kaitlyn McNeil and several friends. She finished in fine form, beating her previous time by almost a full 8 minutes, finishing in one hour, 43 minutes, 15 seconds. Way to go, Carrie!

race photo

The Shipley School Send Off

On Day 3 of the walk, Denis taught a class of 4th and 5th graders at Shipley about pilgrimages, and his own special journey to Boston. Imagine his surprise when he left Lower School to walk to Upper School to find the entire student body and faculty lining both sides of the street. Students and faculty made an astonishingly generous contribution to the IOCD Foundation, which they presented to Denis once he reached Upper School. Denis’s smile says it all. Click here to enjoy the full photo gallery on the school’s website.

Judy and Denis at Shipley


Shipley Middle School





Danville Elementary Jeans Day

Danville EventOn Friday, May 11th, Nathaniel’s aunt, Louise Knox, a Para-educator at Danville Elementary School, sponsored a “Jeans Day” to raise money and awareness of OCD/BDD, and in support of Denis’ “Walking With Nathaniel.” Thanks, Louise!

Singing Us Forward

On Saturday evening, April 21, 2012, at London Grove Friends Meeting House, dear friends Kim Brosnan–Myers and Hilary Myers organized a beautiful benefit concert to “sing Denis on his way.”  Hilary and Kim along with Melissa Graf Evans provided stirring vocals, accompanied by Eileen Hickman and Fred Crumine on piano, and Phil Calabrese on guitar.  Over 60 people attended, and donations at the door surpassed $1,000 for the OCD Foundation for BDD research. We are grateful for the great turn out and the moving music.

Raising Awareness of Body Dysmorphic Disorder – When the Face in the Mirror Doesn’t Look Like You

During two days in March 2012, Nathaniel’s cousin, Conor Knox organized a bake sale at the Honors Residential Learning Community of Hawk Hall at the University of Hartford to raise funds for BDD research. Conor also gave a presentation about BDD to his college community to raise awareness about this disorder.

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