The mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre has hit home for one Vancouver Canucks star.
Goaltender Cory Schneider has lent his full support to the Hope Rises Relief Fund after learning that his very close friend – who he considers a cousin – narrowly avoided becoming one of the victims of the tragic July 20 incident.
“I heard about the shooting like anyone in the U.S. and Canada. I didn’t know where Aurora was but have a cousin (Gianmarco Cacciamatta) who lives near Denver,” Schneider said. “I didn’t put two and two together until he called me.”
The two talked about their shock and horror over the shooting, but Schneider didn’t learn how close he came to possibly losing a family member until his mother told him the rest of the story.
Cacciamatta had a ticket for the ill-fated screening of The Dark Knight Rises but couldn’t go because of a work commitment the next morning.
Instead, he gave his ticket to co-worker Petra Anderson, 22.
Anderson was severely injured in the shooting.
Shotgun pellets ripped through her arm, and part of the spray went through her nose and ended up in the back of her skull.
She had successful neurosurgery and is expected to recover.
Unfortunately, the six-year-old child next to her wasn’t so lucky, becoming one of 12 people killed in the shooting.
“It’s unspeakable,” said Schneider. “Fifty-eight people injured and 12 killed… there’s no rhyme or reason for it. There was no reason for these people to be hurt. It’s hard to imagine, and when it hits home it’s even harder.”
Now the shot stopper is pledging support for the Hope Rises Relief Fund, set up to help pay for the victims’ medical costs and to support victims’ families.
He’s hoping Canucks fans – that step up time and again to lend support for numerous causes – join him.
“When something like this happens you wonder what you can do. I’m going to donate some money myself, hopefully we can get some support from Vancouver,” the 26-year-old from Marblehead, Mass. said. “Of course it’s everyone choice and decision. [Canucks fans] are so passionate and supportive, we really do have the best fans.”
Hope Rises Relief Fund in support of the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance:
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/hoperisesrelieffund
On Twitter: @HopeRisesRelief
Petra Anderson Relief Fund: indiegogo.com/readytobelieve