Bay area man working to help Sandy Hook victims - FOX 13 News

Bay area man working to help Sandy Hook victims

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The healing continues one year after a gunman opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

Pictures tell the story of place transformed by tragedy. Tampa Resident John Rinaldi traveled to the city.

"Although I am an outsider, I know what it is like first hand to lose two siblings to violence," he said.

Rinaldi runs a nonprofit foundation to combat abuse and violence. He decorated a tree with ornaments commemorating each individual life lost in the shooting

at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The goal is to make sure victims are not forgotten.

"I have a 4-year-old and I see his little face, I can't imagine anything ever happening to him," said Rinaldi.

"I think everyone who loves a child, everyone who cares for a child, I think everyone has been affected."

Rinaldi is using his non-profit experience to make a difference. He says he is working with town officials to

create the Sandy Hook Kids Center, also known as "Chase's Place."

The center is named after Chase Kowalski, one of the youngest victims killed in the shooting. Construction is expected to begin once the new Sandy Hook Elementary

School is built.

"We can redefine December 14th. Instead of a day of tragedy, it is a day of hope," said Rinaldi of the shooting's anniversary date. " December 14th, never again. I

think if we address this head on, I think we can put some closure to it."

The center is expected to include an indoor pool, track, computer room and eventually a clinic for mental health.

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