A Rose by Any Other Name
January 30, 2013
#MediaMonday – Cynthia Sassi
February 4, 2013
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It seems daily we are seeing news stories about gun violence. I get it; the topic is a hot one right now. But yesterday’s story of a shooting in an office building here in Phoenix is different. Different because in this case I know the victim.

I learned about the shooting while scrolling through my Facebook feed. I was out at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, commented on it to my friends and went back to enjoying the day.  Sad, really, that news of a shooting doesn’t make that big of an impact any more.

When it was time to leave the Open, I checked my voice mail and my friend Donna from Las Vegas had left me a message saying our friend Steve Singer had been shot.  How could that be? Was he the victim of the shooting I had read about earlier in the day?

As soon as I got home, I jumped on the Internet and sure enough, it was Steve. I cried.

Steve and I have known each other since high school; we were members of the same youth group. His wife, too. Pool parties, dances, typical high school stuff. We stayed in touch over the years, seeing each other occasionally.

I scrolled through Facebook friends we had in common to see what everyone was saying. I posted the news on my status. Friends reached out, most didn’t know him but understand when something like this happens you want to make a connection.

And then my personal and professional lives collided. A reporter friend messaged me and asked if I wanted to talk about Steve on-camera. I have certainly acted as a spokesperson during other crisis situations, but this time was different.  I had a personal connection.  I passed. It just didn’t feel right.

And the media continues to have a job to do--they’ll look at the story from all angles.  I’m not sure I want to know all the details and “whys” of this tragic story. I know the media will want to know as much as they can about Steve and his business dealings, his personal life.  I know it’s their job, but now that job seems very invasive.

When the news involves someone you know, it is no longer news...it is personal.

RIP friend.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio


  1. David Landis says:

    I am so sorry to read of this sad news, Abbie. My condolences, thoughts, prayers and sympathy are with you.

  2. Ken Reinstein says:

    Well written Abbie. Thanks for sharing this. Sorry for your loss and that of Steve. I am pretty sure he and I crossed paths in the past, too.

  3. Leslie Tweeton says:

    Beautifully written, Abbie. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  4. Debra Levin says:

    Abbie, beautifully put. I had a similar reaction when I realized it went from a news story in my hometown to a kid I knew.

  5. Indra Gardiner says:

    Ugh, so sorry to read this my friend. I guess none of us is immune from the sickness of some in our society. Hold that little Viva tight and remember the good.

  6. Nat Handler says:

    It’s so difficult to believe that such a terrible thing could happen right here in our own backyard to those who are closest to us. Thank you for sharing your story. Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and condolences go out to you and Steve’s family.

  7. Beth Burnett says:

    Abbie, I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are feeling. You are in my thoughts.

  8. Abbie S. Fink says:

    About a thousand people attended Steve’s service yesterday. He was well-liked and well-loved.

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