A flood of emotions hit me as I stood next to Jenny and Matt Hubbard and watched as Gov. Malloy signed into law a special act that transfers 34 acres of state-owned land in Newtown to a foundation established in honor of their daughter, Catherine Violet Hubbard, who was one of the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14, 2012.
We pass a lot of bills in the legislature, and while all are important, this one was extra special. The unity exhibited by the legislature in passing Special Act 14-13 speaks to the resolve our great state has and the ongoing commitment we will demonstrate to the families who lost a loved one on 12/14 and to the entire Newtown community. Even more inspiring is the resolve of the Hubbards.
Just as their daughter would have wanted, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation will establish an animal sanctuary on the land, which will reflect Catherine’s compassion for animals by providing adoptive services for companion animals, refuge for farm animals, and native wildlife rescue and release services. Future plans for the sanctuary, located on the Fairfield Hills property, include walking paths, a learning center, a library, educational programs, dog community areas, and butterfly gardens.
By its very definition a sanctuary is a safe haven, a place of refuge. Thanks to the vision of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation — created in the kind and gentle spirit that this 6-year-old embodied — animals will have a peaceful, loving home in Newtown. It warms my heart when I think of how much good will come from the sanctuary, and what that must mean to the Hubbard family.
It also underscores how Newtown and its residents have defied to be defined by the tragedy of 12/14, and instead have come to be known for the incredible kindness, compassion, and positive action being taken in honor of those precious lives lost that day. It’s an honor to be part of the community, and a great privilege to serve them.
I encourage everyone to learn more about the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation by visiting their website, www.cvhfoundation.org.