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REMEMBERING SANDY HOOK: The story of a young Ravens fan

Lombardi's Way REMEMBERING SANDY HOOK: The story of a young Ravens fan

Posted in Lombardi's Way
7+ Comments kebbeh johnson says Joey....u came and left so early. never knew u but life has a way of doing things. please watch over this little crazy world. we will always love u and remember
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This was originally posted on December 21, 2012


This is a story about a little girl who just a few days ago celebrated a birthday. She’s a happy child with a magnetic personality, engagingly social who laughs and hugs often.

Having entered the world just seven years ago Joey is known for her affection and incredibly wonderful sense of humor for someone so young. She loves to swim, swing, play with her Barbie dolls and enjoys her iPad and computer.

And she really loves her sisters.

Joey’s hair is sandy brown and her cute little bangs rest comfortably above her eyebrows, accentuating her beautiful smiling eyes.

Can you see her?

She touches the lives of many, pretty much all who she comes in contact with: friends, neighbors, teachers, classmates all love and cherish Joey. She’s the kind of child who just makes the world a better place.

Her therapists love her too.

You see Joey despite the daily therapy that she endures to help her cope with autism and severe apraxia, remains a beacon of light in the world because she still possesses an infectious buoyancy that screams, “ENJOY LIFE!”

Can you see her?

Imagine a little girl with an amazingly indomitable spirit, forced to cope with grueling therapy every day of her life when you know she’d prefer to be playing and doing one of her favorite things – swinging.

Yet she remains this bundle of joy.

Born in Maryland and part of a family of Ravens fans, it is only natural that Joey’s favorite color is purple. She rarely leaves the house without wearing purple.

Can you see her?

I want you to picture this bright-eyed little girl.

You probably feel like you know Josephine Grace Gay by now.

And you’ve probably already fallen in love.

Just three days after her 7th birthday Joey attends school. It begins as a fairly normal Friday morning until tragedy strikes.

An insanely enraged man with an unconscionable level of evil in his heart bursts into Joey’s school and unleashes a brutal and furious barrage of assault weaponry that ultimately takes the life of twenty children and some faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Joey is among those lost on this heinously tragic day in America.

Her parents, Bob and Michele Gay, their hearts in tatters over their devastating loss, refuse to allow this tragedy to define the life of one of God’s Rembrandts.

Can you picture Bob and Michele? Imagine their pain?

Yet they persevere with style and “Grace”.

With parents like these no wonder Josephine Grace Gay was so beautiful.

Friends and family honored Joey’s memory during visits by wearing purple. Her sisters and cousins released purple balloons towards the heavens inscribed with messages of love for their fallen Joey.

In her memory and to keep her spirit alive and vibrant, Bob and Michele have established a fund in her name in cooperation with The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. Their wish is to help other families raising autistic children.

I know you have already painted a picture of Joey in your mind. Well here she is enjoying one of her favorite pastimes.

In honor of her memory Joey’s parents have asked everyone to wear purple on Saturday.

And when you do, somewhere above a beautiful little Ravens fan will be smiling.

God bless you Joey!


How to donate:

Online: Doug Flutie Foundation


On the donation page please select “in Memory of” and type “Joey’s Fund” in the box for “acknowledgement/address and comments,”


By Mail:

Send checks to:

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

Specify “In Memory of Josephine Gay” on the check.

Mailing address:

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

PO Box 767

Framingham, MA 01701


Source: NBC Connecticut

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony's new Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi
kebbeh johnson
kebbeh johnson

Joey....u came and left so early. never knew u but life has a way of doing things. please watch over this little crazy world. we will always love u and remember u...I will definitely try really hard to donate to any of ur cause....iam a true fan of u and the others.....loveeeee all of u guys who left so quick. u guys are my Angel...beautiful as ever :)


I also love my purple and the Ravens. Joey will always be in my heart!!

Red Headed Pic-Chick
Red Headed Pic-Chick

Thank you for writing this not only to share her family's roots here in Maryland, but also to share that the child had been diagnosed with Autism. The same diagnosis supposedly given to the pure evil person that took the lives of so many in her school. It is wonderul that you have given ravens fans a new perspective on a child that was "one of our own". When the news media starteed announcing that the shooter had Autism, many people trying to deal with the grief suddenly were blaming the diagnosis, not the individual. This is so far from the truth. Autism is not a diagnosis to make people do cruel things. People do cruel things. Just like guns do not kill people. People kill people. And I am not trying to make any sort of a political statement about weapons. I am just merely saying that the shooter was the reason you had to write this article. Why so many lives have been changed forever. I know that my personal outlook on raising my 3 children is forever changed due to this tragic moment in history. Thank you Tony for reminding the public that Autism is a daily struggle, but having autism does not make you struggle deciding what is right and what is wrong. It does not make you be a cruel and evil person that takes away the lives of the innocent. God Bless all of the families and even our extended purple family that will be grieving the loss of this child and all of the others that died that day.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Red, thank you for such a poignant and heart-felt comment. May God Bless you for taking the time to share such a valuable lesson!


Very well's people, not objects, that cause so much pain...there are people that need help for what ever reason and it's those that we should focus on...hopefully to avoid such tragedy. God bless.

Rumor Ray
Rumor Ray

TL, It is in times of tragedy that we have to step back and think of how valuable life is. Life is not how well the Ravens play it is about enjoying the moments that we have. I hope each Fan thinks about this little child who's life was taken away as we cheer on the Ravens this Sunday. No matter what happens on Sunday be Thankful for the opportunity to be able to watch and cheer, as so many are still recovering from tragic events and weather related issues.


So sad I'm wearing g my purple Friday n beautiful Angeles


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