Fishing event held for victims of Sandy Hook tragedy
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DANBURY, Conn. (WHDH) -- A cloudless sky and perfect spring temperatures greeted hundreds of Sandy Hook families at a lake in Danbury, Conn. Sunday.
Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Natalie Hammond, who was wounded in the school shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, started the 26 Angels Foundation. The first-ever 26 Angels Foundation event was held Sunday.
The private event, which included fishing, exhibits, good eats and smiles, was attended solely by Sandy Hook children, teachers, first responders and families.
“It started very early on and my husband and I sat down and just realized we need to be there for our community of Sandy Hook,” said Hammond.
More than 40 boats, with two anglers each, participated in a fishing tournament sponsored by Bass Nation on the water, while children and their families took in the rays on land, bringing peace of mind to those who’ve lived through so much -- one of the goals of the foundation.
“This is something that people can go to, relax…alleviate some of the stresses of everyday life and just enjoy themselves,” said Vice President of the 26 Angels Foundation, Chris Bielert.
“You look around today and the volunteers are just unbelievable. We could not have pulled this off without the strength and the power and the commitment that these people have made,” said Hammond.
Some of those volunteers were fire chiefs and responders from New York state, who served up hundreds of burgers and franks.
As one of the first large group gatherings of so many of the families affected by the tragedy, the hopes are that the event and foundation will only continue to grow.
“This is a group of guys and women that I adore and love working with so I hope that this is, we’re planning on this becoming an annual event and I look forward to our future events together,” said Hammond.