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Young Leaders Host Out of the “Box” Fundraiser for Gun Violence Prevention

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Sandy Hook Promise spoke with Ali Cantor, a member of our Young Leaders Council (YLC), about her commitment to the cause. The YLC is a committee of young professionals passionate about having an impact on the gun violence prevention movement. Along with her colleague Olivia Rovelli, they hosted a Zoom benefit class to raise funds and awareness for Sandy Hook Promise.

Growing Up After Sandy Hook 

I was a senior in high school when the tragedy at Sandy Hook happened. You couldn’t get more innocent than those students. Throughout the rest of my schooling, shootings remained top of mind. That’s why I got involved with prevention efforts at the grassroots level.  

Growing up and having seen so many school shootings, I feel for kids who are worried about going back to school. How do you maintain social distance during a lockdown drill? Kids already have so much to worry about, school shootings shouldn’t be one of them.

The most important thing that young people have to remember is the power of their voice. We are in a time where Millennials and Gen Z are disparaged, but when we put our mind to it, we can do anything.

Staying Connected During COVID

We’ve been so cooped up since the pandemic started. I was thrilled when my friend and Co-worker Olivia started teaching her amazing “Box + Flow” workouts online. Our online community and a blend of boxing and yoga have been my escape and outlet during these difficult times. When Olivia hosted a benefit for COVID frontline health workers, I was inspired to reach out and do the same for Sandy Hook Promise.

To overcome constraints of social distancing, we organized the online and raised funds virtually. It was a great success! More than 20 people attended, including Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Mark Barden. At the end of the day, nearly $3,000 was raised to help support these lifesaving programs.

Our teacher Olivia shared her enthusiasm with me. “I was blown away by the turnout! Hats off to the organization and friends for fighting so hard and surpassing their fundraising goal,” said Olivia. “My heart goes out to Mark and all of the families who have been affected by such horrific acts of violence. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of an incredible event, and I look forward to contributing to SHP any way I can in the future.”

Going with the Flow

Many thanks to Ali and Olivia for organizing this virtual Box + Flow event. Their support, and with the help of people like you, is helping our programs grow. More than 12 million students, educators, and community members have participated. These programs reach diverse communities in all 50 states, including urban, suburban, rural, and Native American reservations. Our programs have been delivered in some of the largest school districts in the country including Atlanta Public, Houston Public, Los Angeles Unified, Miami-Dade, San Francisco Unified, and more.

You too can put your fitness into fundraising for our cause! While marathons, 5Ks, and athletic events have been canceled, the need to protect children continues. That’s why we’ve launched our virtual Team Sandy Hook Promise. From a safe social distance, your steps, miles, and workouts support our lifesaving violence prevention programs.