Courtesy photo

Members of the community gather to honor Shelby Dinubilo with a candlelight vigil on Feb. 27.

Known for her love of animals, fishing and the outdoors, Shelby Dinubilo was a sister, daughter and friend.

She loved horses, “anything to do with water,” and enjoyed Tik Tok dances with friends.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, the community of Galt gathered to celebrate the life of the 13-year-old New Hope student, who passed away on Feb. 24, and to advocate for other children who might be struggling with changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dinubilo committed suicide and, in a note that was found after she passed away, mentioned being overwhelmed with school, in which she was participating through distance learning.

“She left a letter and said that school was overwhelming; she just felt very overwhelmed,” a close friend of the Dinubilo family, Megan Leary, said on March 2.

The Feb. 27 candlelight vigil for Shelby was organized to not only remember her but to raise awareness to any children who are struggling right now that the community has their support.

A GoFundMe for Shelby’s memorial had raised $13,690 out of its $15,000 goal as of press time. Fundraisers have also been organized for this weekend.

On Saturday, March 6, Saving the Children will be holding a car wash fundraiser for Shelby’s memorial at 10 a.m. at 26500 North Sacramento Blvd. in Thornton. There will be tacos for sale as well as memorial shirts.

On Sunday, March 7, a silent auction, raffle and snack bar will take place at Benefit Gymkhana, which is being held at San Joaquin Valley Rangers. All proceeds are going to the Dinubilo family in memory of Shelby. Those looking to sign up to ride can do so at 9 a.m., and riding takes place at 10 a.m. with a $30 entry fee.

Shelby’s mother spoke at the vigil and announced that Saving Our Children, which can be found on Facebook, is starting a foundation inspired by Shelby that will allow children to have the opportunity to get out in the community and do activities free of charge.

The goal is to hold these events once a month, according to Leary.

The vigil, which had an estimation of several hundred people and took place at Galt Community Park, was “very supportive,” according to Leary.

“We’re getting through it. She was a very full-of-life little girl,” Leary said.