NEWTOWN-- The third annual Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Awards ceremony was held Saturday night in Newtown, honoring more 45 children and teenagers for their kind actions in memory of one of the victims of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The awards ceremony is the premiere event for the Newtown Kindness organization, which was founded by Aaron Carlson in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Joel Bacon, Charlotte's father, said his daughter would have turned 9 years old Sunday.
The third annual Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness award ceremony brought together 45 children of all ages from 17 states and Canada. Around 500 people attended-- most wearing Charlotte's favorite color pink culmination of Newtown Kindness Group's work to encourage kindness from children of all ages.
Caitilin Haacke, 16, flew in from Alberta, Canada for the ceremony.
Haacke was honored for creating a movement "Positive Post-It Day" which uses positivity to fight back against bullying.
"I wrote positive messages like "you're beautiful", "love yourself". I put them on every locker on my school and it ended up going viral, now it's been celebrated in Japan and Australia," Haacke said.
"I think to see the leadership of these kids and what they're doing, starting their own foundations at such a young age," said Joel Bacon.
Lexi Kelley, 18, a high school senior, started an organization called "Kids Helping Kids" which helps to empower youths in nearby communities.
The Stamford native was one of this year's 10 finalists for the award ceremony.
"You get so much out of giving and the people that receive your acts of kindness just feel amazing as well. It's such a win-win situation," said Lexi Kelley.
Charlotte’s parents, Joel and JoAnn Bacon, held a limited-edition book signing of Good Dogs, Great Listeners, an endearing children’s book that captures Charlotte's bold sense of adventure and her love of dogs, weaving a captivating tale of love and kindness.
The book will be available for sale to the pubic starting on Sunday, the same day as Charlotte's birthday.
"It's our gift to Charlotte. This is a way to share her spirit and her authenticity and who she is," said Bacon.