NORTH SALEM, N.Y. — In a touching tribute to the life and legacy of a first-grader lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation hosted the first Catherine’s Butterfly Party, on Sunday, June 8. The family-focused fundraiser benefited the creation of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, which is proposed for a site at Fairfield Hills.
More than 100 attended the Butterfly Party hosted at the home of Jeff and Wendy Waldron in North Salem. The event raised more than $50,000 through short- and long-term financial support, and also secured commitments for in-kind services, which will help the foundation reach its goal of building the sanctuary.
Catherine’s Butterfly Party featured activities for adults and children who attended, including face painting, sports, and games. Through video, photographs, renderings, and educational materials, the foundation shared its vision, plans, and goals for the Animal Sanctuary. American Idol finalist Ayla Brown showed her support of the foundation by performing some of Catherine’s favorite songs, while guests enjoyed treats from food trucks.
“We are truly touched by the support we’ve received from the New York community to help realize Catherine’s dream of creating a safe haven for all animals,” said Jenny Hubbard, Catherine’s mother and co-founder of her daughter’s namesake foundation. “The contributions made at Catherine’s Butterfly Party bring us one step closer to our goal of breaking ground on the animal sanctuary in 2015.”
Catherine was known for her natural ability to connect with and care for animals. She also enjoyed catching and releasing butterflies in the spring, and was often heard whispering to them, “Tell all your friends I am kind,” so they would come back to her again.
To carry on Catherine’s legacy of providing a place for all animals to feel loved, her foundation is raising funds to build a sanctuary to house dogs, cats, and farm animals in need of being rescued, and will also have a wildlife rehabilitation center. The sanctuary will educate the community on how to treat animals and to “Be Kind Like Catherine.”
The nonprofit foundation seeks to embody her defining virtues:
*Compassion: We treasure all living things and believe that all creatures, great and small, deserve to live free from harm in their natural environment. We will approach all creatures with a sense of kindness because we believe that is what builds a better world.
*Acceptance: We believe in the innate beauty and grace of animals, nature, and people. We accept all creatures where they are at and will help them achieve what they aspire to become.
*Determination: We will always challenge ourselves to make sure we are doing the best job we can possibly do. Our first goal is to make Catherine’s dream of creating a safe haven for all animals by building and supporting the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.
The event was attended by US Senator Richard Blumenthal, retiring State Representative DebraLee Hovey, First Selectman Pat Llodra, and state Senate hopeful Tony Hwang, along with a multigenerational representation of Hubbard family members, local friends, neighbors and representatives of the Newtown Animal Center.
For more information on the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation and how you can help create the animal sanctuary in Catherine’s memory, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/CatherineVioletHubbardAnimalSanctuary or website cvhfoundation.org.