EAST TROY (WITI) -- The second annual Avie-Fest in East Troy on Saturday, October 25th is to celebrate the life and remember one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. They're also raising money in hopes of preventing similar tragedies in the future.
For many of us, watching the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings in December of 2012 represented a tragedy we could only imagine.
For Jeremy Richman, the horror was real.
"My wife and I were absolutely floored and devastated and we're still infinitely heartbroken," said Jeremy Richman.
Richman lost his 6-year-old little girl, Avielle, in the attacks that day.
"Just a fun-loving kid that big giant kind heart that liked to meet people and wanted to be everyone's friend," said Richman.
After losing something so precious, you could see how a parent might just shut down. But Richman and his wife are instead using their grief and letting it fuel them into forming the Avielle Foundation, aimed at neuroscience research.
"To understand the underpinnings of violence and compassion on the other side of that, so we fostered the research to do that -- to understand what can go wrong in a brain that leads to violent acts," said Richmon.
A little help from some Wisconsin friends led to a fundraiser for the foundation in East Troy on Saturday. Hundreds were expected to turn out.
"I thought, you know, there's got to be something that I can do and one day a year bring everybody together. Basically now it's a celebration of community and life," said Leon Davis, Coordinator of Avie-Fest.
Richmon says their motto is "you can imagine", and that's meant to invoke both happiness and sadness.
"We want people to put themselves in our shoes just for a second to see, wow that is terrible so that they're compelled to do something to change things," said Richmon.
FOX6 News is told they hope to raise $15,000 of more from Saturday's event.
For more information about the Avielle Foundation, CLICK HERE.