Families of Robb victims organize ‘Remember Their Names Festival’

“Maite looked up what her name meant. And it meant love.”

Five months after the Robb Elementary tragedy, families of the victims are organizing a festival to honor their loved ones.

UVALDE – Monday marks five months since the Robb Elementary tragedy, five months since 19 children and two teachers were murdered.

The families of the Uvalde victims are working together now on a special project to honor their loved ones.

“Just something that brings happiness out of such a tragic situation. Somewhere where people can go and have fun and laugh and dance and, you know, remember them,” Ana Rodriguez, Maite’s mom said.

It’s called the Remember Their Names Festival and it’s happening this Sunday, October 30 at the Uvalde County Fairplex.

“We want everybody to come together and do this for the lives that were lost,” Rodriguez said.

Lives like 10-year-old Maite Rodriguez, Ana’s daughter.

“Happy child, you know, she had a lot to offer this world. A lot,” Rodriguez said.

They did just about everything together; Maite was her best friend.

“Maite looked up what her name meant. And it meant love,” Rodriguez explained. “I’m blessed that she was a girl. God knew that I needed a girl.”

The green converse Rodriguez has in a display case are significant. Following the Robb shooting, Maite was identified solely through her shoes with a heart on the left toe.

They mean a lot to Rodriguez, which is why she’s raffling off a pair as a part of the festival.

“I also just want them to know that a ten-year-old girl who wanted to be a Marine Biologist wore shoes like these. They were her favorite color,” she said.

The other victims will be honored at the Remember Their Names Festival as well.

There will be a cook-off for Irma and Joe, an art contest for Amerie, Alithia, and Miranda, Karaoke for Eva, and a softball tournament for Tess, Lexi, Makenna, Eliahna, Naveah, and Jose.

All of the money raised is going towards scholarships for Uvalde High School seniors.

“Twenty-two scholarships in total. 21 will be for a loved one that was lost and then one for in the honor of the surviving children,” Rodriguez said.

To be awarded a scholarship, seniors will need to write a short essay, and each family will pick who receives their loved one’s scholarship.

It’s a tall task, but Rodriguez knows it’s what Maite would want.

“Our kiddos won’t get scholarships or get to go to school, but they can be a part of somebody else receiving a scholarship and going to school,” Rodriguez said.

If you cannot come to the festival, there are other ways to donate to the scholarship fund online.

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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.