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Sandy Hook Promise Honors U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Congressmen Ted Deutch and John Rutherford for Protecting Kids Nationwide

Newtown, CT — Sandy Hook Promise (SHP)’s sixth annual Promise Champions Gala event will recognize U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), U.S. Congressmen Ted Deutch (D-FL) and John Rutherford (R-FL) for their enduring commitment to keeping schools safe. Each honoree played a critical role in passing and funding SHP’s flagship legislation, the STOP School Violence Act, providing federal funding for evidence-based school violence and suicide prevention training for middle and high school students.

The STOP School Violence Act was introduced in the House of Representatives before the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to build off the research and lessons learned from Sandy Hook and other tragic shootings. The legislation aims to scale proven early intervention programming for schools across the country to prevent future school shootings, suicides, mental health crisis, and other forms of school violence. Sandy Hook Promise worked across the aisle with this year’s Promise Champions – Sen. Shaheen, Rep. Rutherford, and Rep. Deutch – and other Members of Congress to pass the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 as part of the FY2018 omnibus funding bill. Since its passage, Sandy Hook Promise and this year’s Promise Champions have led the increase in overall appropriations for STOP, totaling $300 million over the last three Fiscal Years, and specifically $200 million of the overall funding for STOP’s evidence-based violence and suicide prevention programs. 

“Whether students are learning from home or going to school, this unprecedented time calls for extra care and concern for the safety of our children. Senator Shaheen, Rep. Deutch, and Rep. Rutherford have consistently come together across the aisle to prioritize violence prevention and save lives,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “Their shared and steadfast commitment to protecting our kids gives me hope.”

This year’s virtual event takes place on December 2 and will highlight the youth perspective on violence prevention as one of SHP’s celebrated Youth Advisory Board Members moderates a discussion with this year’s honorees. The event will also feature stories of interventions and positive impact from schools across the nation using Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs programs. 

The honorary co-chairs for this year’s gala are Senate Democratic Leader and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT). SHP’s mission has galvanized support from both sides of the political aisle, as more than 100 members of Congress have come together to serve on the honorary co-chair committee for this event. They are joined by esteemed business and philanthropic leaders and volunteers from across the nation who are creating change within their communities. 

To date, more than 12 million people nationwide have participated in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted countless school shooting plots, teen suicides, and other acts of violence.

To learn more about the organization, the virtual recognition event, or to become a sponsor, visit  


About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed Know the Signs prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, bipartisan organization that supports sensible policy solutions that address the human side of gun violence and make schools safer. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  

Media Contact: 

Aimee Thunberg, Communications Director, Sandy Hook Promise [email protected] | 646-761-5579