Aurora Rise, artists and superheroes help theater shooting victims

Aurora Theater Shooting
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AURORA, Colo. -- Many people have moved on from the Aurora theater shooting since the trial ended in August. But the victims will be dealing with it for the rest of their lives. They worry as time goes on, people will forget about them. A local group is doing what it can to keep that from happening.

Artists have the ability to bring imagination to life. On paper, anything is possible.

“I will never call myself a superhero, but I love drawing them,” said Saro, a local comic book sketch artist.

Comic book characters often have superhuman strength and use their powers to save lives. While they only exist in ink and paper, a group of local artists’ superheroes are saving real lives.

Three years ago, Stefan Moton’s life changed forever. He was left paralyzed in the Aurora theater shooting in July 2012.

“I can’t be as independent as I used to be,” Stefan said.

"It’s been very much a toll,” said Moten’s mother, Paula. “As far as a mother, it’s been very heavy for me because to see my son like that, it’s been hard.”

Paula now has to stay home to take care of Moton full time. She cannot work so the family scrapes by to survive.

“It’s been a long road but the road ahead is coming,” she said.

The family has hope thanks to a local nonprofit called Aurora Rise. The foundation sells comic sketchbooks put together with drawings donated from local artists.

The money raised goes to the theater shooting victims, like Moton, to use for medical expenses or any other bills.

“Aurora rise has been wonderful. Just like a blessing from the sky,” Paula said.

The smiles the help brings to the families drives the artists to go bigger and better each time they draw.

“The victims are going to be dealing with this for the rest of their lives,” artist Jason Montoya said. “That needs to be constantly refreshed in the community’s minds so they get the help they need.”

It’s a delicate craft that is sparking a powerful change.

“I’m not like any fireman out there or police out there. I’m not saving lives every day but as long as I can provide something to help the community, I’m more than happy to,” Saro said.

“It just makes me feel like people care,” Moton said.

Aurora Rise will be auctioning off collectors' items, comic books and artwork at the Rocky Mountain Con on NOv. 6. You can also donate directly through its website .

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