2nd Annual ‘Joey’s Ball’ To Honor Md. Sandy Hook Shooting Victim

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The mother of a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting is using her experience to help others.

Christie Ileto has details on the former Maryland native’s campaign.

Maryland native Michele Gay says it’s a day she will never forget–December 14, 2012. That’s when police say her seven-year-old daughter Joey, one of 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, was gunned down by Adam Lanza.

“That’s just part of the shock that we deal with on a day to day. Here you can be having your regular, normal life in your safe, wonderful community and the rug gets pulled out from under you,” Gay said.

Friday, Gay used her painful past to heal others, planning the second annual Joey’s Purple Ball. This year, proceeds go toward making schools across the country safer.

“It was important to help others to prevent this type of tragedy,” said Gay.

Since Sandy Hook, school massacres continue to rip through the headlines. Most recently, police say college student Elliott Rodger went on a shooting spree, killing six people and injuring 13 others before turning the gun on himself.

Here at home, a Perry Hall High School student was shot by his peer. Baltimore County schools have since beefed up security with new buzzer systems and mandatory check-in procedures. Howard County schools also link security cameras to 911 dispatch centers.

But for parents like Gay, Joey’s death is a painful reminder that things have to change.

Last year’s Joey’s Ball raised more than $50,000. This year’s event will take place June 14.

If you would like to learn more about the event or Joey’s Fund, click here.

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