Those touched by the Sandy Hook School shooting have focused their grief in various ways and continue living for those whose precious lives were snuffed out too soon. Even in death, the 26 individuals killed one-year ago are making an impact in the lives of others.
Of the 20 children killed, four were budding horse lovers and equestrians. Avielle Richman took lessons at Zoar Ridge Stables in Newton, Connecticut. The six-year old rode a pony named Betty twice a week in lessons with Annette Sullivan who said, “she would giggle when she trotted.”
Just last month, Catherine Violent Hubbard was honored by the ASPCA with the Tommy Monahan Kid of the Year Award. It celebrated her life and honored her legacy of kindness to animals.
Also a budding equestrian who took regular riding lessons, the six-year old with the beautiful red hair loved all animals, according to her family.
To carry on Catherine’s legacy of providing homes for animals in need, a foundation has been established to build the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. Plans include a dog and cat adoption area, a farm animal rescue, and a wildlife rehabilitation center. A butterfly garden and a gallery featuring Catherine’s artwork is also planned.
“Our family is passionate about making Catherine’s dream of creating a place where all animals feel safe and loved into a reality,” said her mother Jenny Hubbard. “We have no doubt that when we open the doors to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, Catherine will think it is the most beautiful place on earth.”
Working to create a global healing movement is the family of victim Jesse Lewis. The brave little boy grew up on his mother’s farm with his older brother. He rode horses and loved animals.
Jessica Rekos began taking horseback riding lessons when she was five-years old and professed she would “ride forever.” She rode a pony named Waffles and together the pair won Jessica her first blue ribbon. Jessica’s parents promised to buy her a horse on her 10th birthday, but that day never came.
The Jessica Rekos Foundation was established by her parents and has provided funds to educate more horse crazy little girls about proper horse care, ensure school safety, and allow interns to gain experience in whale and dolphin conservation.
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