In the early morning hours before she went to work, Grace Rett went to the water to practice.
Her family tells me basketball was her first love, but rowing was her soulmate.
Grace was killed in an auto accident one day after her 20th birthday.
The van she was in while training in Florida with the Holy Cross rowing team was involved in a devastating accident.
Long before she died, she had a goal to help others live her passion.
“I think when you think of Grace you think of Grace you think of love for her sports, for her schools,” said Brianne Rett, Grace’s sister.
At the school she went to growing up, Our Lady of the Valley in Uxbridge, there’s not much of a gym.
It was Grace’s dream to fix that.
On Tuesday, just a few steps outside the school construction on a new multi-million-dollar gymnasium has begun.
“It’s going to be a forever tribute but also a forever giving back to the school where it all started for her,” said Mary Jo Rett.
In less than a year-and-a-half they have raised $3.2 million. The goal is to hit $3.8 million.
“I think for Grace she didn’t think of any other option than finishing what she started,” said Brianne Rett.
At a time, full of graduations it’s impossible for the family to not think about that special day that won’t arrive.
“I do think about how she would be starting her senior year at school, Brianne is going off to start her freshman year college – just the opportunities she would be having – just starting out her future,” said Mary Jo Rett.
Even though Grace isn’t here her family is still cheering her on.
The G.R.A.C.E. Center is on schedule to open less than two years after Grace’s death.
“You can take Grace out of OLV but you can’t take OLV out of Grace,” said Christopher Rett, Grace’s dad.
Her unstoppable character is still racing to the finish line, with around $600,000 left to raise to complete the job.
“Grace’s spirit will be kept alive in this gym, if she was here, she’d have been here every day,” said Christopher Rett.
Family & friends are still working to push their fundraising goal to the finishing line.
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