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Irondequoit Post
  • Pittsford student honors cousin killed in Newtown

  • Jack Sullivan, 9, lives in Pittsford and is a fourth-grader at Allen Creek Elementary. His 6-year-old cousin, Catherine Violet Hubbard, was an animal-loving first-grader at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

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  • Jack Sullivan, 9, lives in Pittsford and is a fourth-grader at Allen Creek Elementary. His 6-year-old cousin, Catherine Violet Hubbard, was an animal-loving first-grader at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
    Since Catherine fell victim to the crime that took the lives of 20 children and six adults at her school on Dec. 14, her family has requested donations in her memory go directly to The Animal Center in Newtown, a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to animal rescue and welfare.
    But to build The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, the Hubbard family and The Animal Center are going to need help. That's where Jack comes in.
    Jack founded Catherine's Peace Team, a group of friends and neighbors dedicated to fundraising for the sanctuary, in late January. Less than two weeks later, the team had already raised over $1,000 and secured a memorial tree and plaque to be planted at Allen Creek in the spring.
    The Catherine's Peace Team Facebook page has nearly 700 "likes" from around the world, and kids in Newtown and Georgia have expressed interest in starting their own Peace Teams.
    "We were watching my aunt and uncle talk to Anderson Cooper on CNN when I got the idea to start a Peace Team to raise money for the animal sanctuary," Jack said. "It's nice to see everybody helping to make this a reality."
    The flowering tree that will be planted in Catherine's memory at Allen Creek in May was donated by the Broccolo Garden Center in Penfield. It will, Jack hopes, attract butterflies.
    "It's exactly what we want," Jack said about the purple-flowered tree. "She really loved butterflies."
    The Peace Team has already participated in bake sales, auctioned Rochester Knighthawks tickets, collected post-Super Bowl bottles and cans, and more, raising a total of more than $3,000.
    "We're so proud of him and relieved on one level that he's channeling these emotions in such a positive way," said Jack's mother, Kelly McCormick-Sullivan. "This is a lesson that you'll never learn in a classroom."
    The Peace Team has more fundraisers planned, including a Fun Day Fair in May. Green and white wristband — the Sandy Hook colors — and tee-shirt sales will also go toward the sanctuary.
    "Jack, who has been through a very difficult time, has really turned this into a positive and shown so much strength," Allen Creek Elementary Principal Michael Biondi said. "It has passed on to the rest of us."
    For his part, Jack said he hoped people who see Catherine's Peace Team learn "to be kind to others, and that some things that are very, very bad can have something good come out of them."
    Page 2 of 2 - Donation jars are located in Rochester-area Moe's restaurants, and online contributions can be made through the "Catherine Violet Hubbard Memorial Fund" at RACF.org.
     

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