Below we paraphrase an email written to Alex's Foundation by a mother of an 18 month old boy and a Science teacher at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School.

"My name is Anna Cotton and I am a science teacher in the alternative program at the Regional High School. I was one of the teacher-facilitators at the Peer Outreach Retreat for the last 2 days at the YMCA held in Alex's Place

The Peer-Outreach Retreat was an amazing experience. I learned a lot about helping and was thoughoughly impressed by the amazing students who were on the retreat, what they shared and how they grew and developed through the experience.

Although I knew the Teen Center was named in honor of a young woman who was a Vineyard (summer) resident who passed away I did not know the details about Alex Gagnon's story. During my time at the retreat I was able to read the book in Alex's memory in the Teen Center and learned a little more about this amazing young woman and her early passing.


I am the mother to a 18 month old boy and feel an undescribable tear in my heart each time I hear of parents losing a child. I have also been touched through my own family and friends by addiction so to hear this horrible outcome took my breathe away.

I was so inspired and touched by what Alex's Family and friends have created in her memory. I wanted to let you know that your work has touched not only me but so many young people through this retreat and your work at Alex's Place. This retreat will prepare these young people to help themselves and others "to find their hearts and fulfill their dreams" as is your mission. I cannot fathom the pain of losing a child but am in awe at what you have turned this tragedy into. I want to let you know Alex's spirit and your work has touched so many lives. I hope I can bring her spirit and your hope for young people into my own work supporting high school students for many years to come. "