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Funding For Aurora Shooting Victim Memorial Suddenly Reaches Its Goal

By Rick Sallinger

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The fundraising goal for the Aurora theater shooting memorial has suddenly and unexpectedly been met after a church led an ambitious donation pledge to honor the victims.

Last month was the fourth anniversary of the July 20, 2012, shooting that took 12 lives and injured dozens of others. At that time the memorial committee was $90,000 short of its goal.

It now appears they have it, thanks to the Colorado Community Church, which describes itself as an interracial, interdenominational church.

“Colorado Community Church, after one month we needed $90,000. You have given over $95,000. And the money’s still coming in. It looks like we might even hit $100,000 before the end of this weekend because you keep giving,” said Pastor Robert Gelinas during a sermon on Sunday. “You know what I have to say to all that? Only God. Only God … because I said if we reach it, we will celebrate.”

AURORA THEATER SHOOTING: Story Archive | Timeline | Remembering The Victims

The memorial is set to be built at the corner of Alameda Parkway and Chambers Road by the Aurora Municipal Center, not far from the theater where the shooting took place. The memorial will have a garden with benches for each person killed.

Some 600 people quietly gave donations, including Cathy Mosely.

She said she and others gave “because there were so many impacted, not just those at the theater but others related or had friends in that situation.”

LINK: 7/20 Memorial Fundraiser

Heather Dearman, a cousin of Ashley Moser who was paralyzed, lost her unborn child and her 6-year-old daughter in the attack, said she knew of the pastor’s efforts to help the victims’ families.

“Every week he would email us with how much money they had raised so far,” said Dearman.

Dearman said now the work will continue on the process to select a designer for the memorial.

It is to be a place to reflect for those who lost loved ones, those who were wounded in the attack and those who just want to pay their respects.

Past major donations have come from the Havana Business Improvement district, Highpoint Church in Aurora and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership program.

Members of the memorial committee confirmed to CBS4 that they had been informed by the church about the new funds. A formal announcement is expected soon.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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