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Declan Sullivan's memorial fund helps inspire children

By James Fillmore
Published On: Nov 02 2013 05:47:51 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 03 2013 04:59:28 AM CST

We just passed the three year anniversary last month of the Notre Dame student falling to his death from a scissor lift in high winds while he was taping a football practice. Declan's family set up a memorial fund in his honor and a lot of the money goes to a Chicago based not-for-profit called "Horizons for Youth." Today the Sullivan family and some of the kids benefiting from the memorial were on campus to share a game day experience. WSBT's James Fillmore was there

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -

 It's been three years since Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan died after a tower he was standing on to film football practice fell.    

Declan's family set up a memorial fund in his honor and a lot of the money goes to Horizons for Youth which is a non-profit in Chicago that supports at-risk children with their education.

Many of Declan's family members were at the tailgate before Saturday's game and got a chance to see just how big of an impact Declan's legacy is having.

Twenty children were bused here to the Notre Dame campus for the day to meet the Sullivan family and also get exposed to the college campus.

It's an experience some of these kids might not otherwise have had.

The children from Horizons for Youth were happy to be at Notre Dame.

They played games and tossed around a football but the kids also had the chance to talk one on one with Declan Sullivan's family.

Diane Pedro is one of the students who benefits and says, "I say thank you and that I appreciate everything that they've done for me."

The executive director of Horizons says in some cases, the kids don't know anyone who has gone to college but trips like this get them excited for their futures in higher education.

Declan's father Barry says his family feels privileged to be able to help.

Barry says, "It's a good feeling. I think regardless of the circumstances it's the sort of thing that we value in seeing kids have an opportunity for education."

Pedro says she plans on attending college someday and knows Declan and his family help to make that possible.

Pedro says, "It's nice. I mean they're helping us through our education and helping us experience other things in life."

Declan's sister Wyn says seeing the children makes dealing with the loss of her brother a little bit easier.

Wyn Sullivan says, "Honestly I can't not smile when I'm around them because it's a really positive way to remember him and honor his legacy and I think he would be really happy with what we've done."