Locals gathered this weekend to hold a fundraiser for a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre which occurred in Newtown, Connecticut nearly a year ago.
Among the six adults and twenty children shot that day in December was Avielle Richman who once lived in San Diego before moving to Newtown.
On Saturday evening, hundreds donated money to a foundation in her name and family and friends paid tribute to the girl whose life was taken too soon.
"Giant smile, everyone remembered her curly hair, and her smile and she was so tiny, so they're like 'ohhhh the little girl with the curly hair,'" said Erin Sanabria, a family friend.
Avielle's death left her parents, Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel, devastated.
"Avielle was their only child," said Sanabria. "And they were both scientists. And after the event happened they were struggling to know what to do with themselves."
Richman and Hensel decided they were going to do something to make a difference and so they started The Avielle Foundation to fund brain health research in hopes of understanding why people like 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who authorities say was behind the massacre, would choose to commit such incredible horrors of violence.
"That's really what needs to be dealt with. Get to what is happening, why it's happening inside these individuals," said Sanabria.
To learn more about The Avielle Foundation, visit this page.