Jeff and Ann Marie Doolittle have steered clear of the public eye since their daughter, Ashley, was murdered last June.
They’ve been afraid of upending the court case against her ex-boyfriend.
He’s accused of shooting her near a reservoir in Larimer County and driving her body nearly six hours to Mesa County after she broke up with him.
But with that case inching towards trial later this year, they’re breaking that silence to help prop up Ashley’s legacy.
“I think we learned a lot this past year just how much she did for others,” said Ann Marie.
She says after Ashley’s death, they were flooded with Facebook messages, calls and letters telling them about Ashley’s commitment to rodeo, 4H, even helping friends out of their own abusive relationships.
The family set up a non-profit this year to support Ashley’s passion for rodeo and create a domestic violence organization specifically targeted towards teenagers.
A gala later this month and a rodeo in June will raise money for the Boulder County Rodeo Princess program. Ashley dreamed of helping young girls get into the sport.
Another portion of the funds will go towards educating teenagers and parents about the warning signs of domestic violence.
“If we can do something to help avoid this situation for somebody else,” Jeff said, “That’ll be great. That’ll be a win.”
You can find more info on the gala and rodeo at http://ashleydoolittlefoundation.org/gala/