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CT shooting hits home for gun violence prevention group

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MILWAUKEE -- The party had been planned for months. But the Scooter Foundation knew the mood would be less-than-joyous Saturday after Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The foundation seeks to prevent gun violence in the Milwaukee area. Its founder, Susan Schmidt, lost her brother in a 2005 shooting. She used donations to start the group and says she's dedicated to keeping guns from at-risk youth.

"We have to have conversations with our children about gun violence," she said, "But we need to do it in a way that is respectful to their age, we have to be sensitive to their hearts."

Schmidt centered most of Saturday's party around the holiday theme. Students sang Christmas carols and put together small crafts. She says a large part of her approach to bring the children happiness and forming a relationship before broaching the more difficult subjects.

"The kids in this community grow up way too fast," she said, "And we want to provide them with opportunities like roller skating or ice skating."

The Connecticut shootings came up briefly Saturday, as the group had a moment of silence for the victims. But Schmidt wanted most of the day's event to be pleasant since it was a reward for the group's top-performing students.

For more information about the Scooter Foundation, visit the group's Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

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