Family, Friends Establish Riley Howell Foundation Fund To Help Families Affected By Gun Violence

ASHEVILLE, N.C. –Family and friends of Riley Howell have established a fund in his name to support families affected by gun violence.

On April 30th, 2019, Riley Howell was shot and killed when he attempted to disarm a classroom shooter at UNC Charlotte. Riley has since been awarded the Civilian Medal of Valor from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for his actions as well as the Reserve Officers Training Corps Medal for Heroism from the United States Army Cadet Command.

The Riley Howell Foundation Fund has been established at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and is intended to provide financial support to charities that provide immediate and ongoing services to families impacted by similar tragedies.

Families may have needs in grief counseling, funeral expenses, domestic care, long term health and wellness care, as well as other areas of service.

The advisory board is currently determining which initial list of recipients and plans to announce those organizations in July of 2019.

“I didn’t intend to give Riley to the world, but now that he belongs to everyone, we hope his willingness to put others first can be an inspiration,” said advisory board president  and Riley’s mother, Natalie Henry-Howell. “His altruistic nature was fundamental to his character. If thinking of Riley sparks any one of us to reach out and care more about others, to help rather than be indifferent or cause harm, then his legacy can be remarkably meaningful.”

“We were so blessed to have Riley in our lives for the time that we did,” said advisory board treasurer Scott Pritchard. “He was the rare person who just made everything more fun. In his honor we want this foundation fund to do some good in the world, to comfort grieving families with support like we’ve received after this tragedy.”

“You knew Riley was nearby because you could feel the energy in the room change for the better,” said Kevin Westmoreland, the advisory board’s secretary.  “He was passionate about whatever it was he wanted to do, whether it was hiking, cooking, or planting bushes. His passion was infectious. And if someone near him needed his help, he was there in an instant. No thought about how it would look, or whether he should ask permission. He just helped.”

Tax-deductible donations can be made online at the foundation fund’s website, rileyhowellfoundation .org, or through CFWNC’s website.   Interested donors can also mail a check to: CFWNC, 4 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Suite 300, Asheville, NC 28803. Include ‘Riley Howell Foundation Fund’ in the memo.

Please visit the website  ,to learn more about the foundation fund and Riley’s life, or email