More than 1,400 donors contributed to a charitable initiative in memory of former director of marketing at Timberland PRO Catherine “Cassie” Heppner.
As of Tuesday afternoon nearly $166,000 — more than triple the initial — had been raised on a GoFundMe page organized by Heppner’s brother Brian on behalf of her husband Michael Cormier. The donations will help support several of Heppner’s favorite charities, including Outward Bound, Girls At Work, Big City Mountaineers, Camber Outdoors and Generation T. With a matching donation of $140,000 from the VF Foundation, the contributions also will help establish a college fund for her eight-year-old son Jack. Timberland is owned by the VF Corp.
Heppner, 46, was killed Feb. 9 at Timberland’s corporate headquarters in Stratham, N.H. She was stabbed after stopping by the office on a Sunday afternoon. Stratham police arrested 20-year-old security guard, Robert Pavao, who was employed by Securitas, at the scene. He has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
Heppner’s sister-in-law Jennifer Pulsone said Tuesday, “We started this whole GoFundMe thing, because we got inundated with people [asking,] ‘How can I help?’ ‘What can I do?’ ‘What can I send?’ We thought, ‘We want to make a positive out of this tragedy and we don’t want her to be defined by this tragedy.’ We knew she was a very charitable person.”
One of Heppner’s three siblings, Brian, said Tuesday that the family hopes to establish a road race or some other annual event in her memory that would further support causes that she believed in.
Girls At Work is planning to dedicate a workshop in Heppner’s honor Thursday, which will be named “Cassie’s Power Shop.”