Connecticut children’s flower named in honor of Cheshire home invasion victim

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Many new laws went in effect in Connecticut at the start of July. One of them has named Four O’Clocks the official children’s state flower in honor of Michaela Petit, killed in the Cheshire home invasion in 2007.

Michaela’s sister, Hailey, and their mother, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, were killed as well. Dr. William Petit was the only survivor. 

“It was a nice tribute to my daughter, Michaela, to have the first children’s state flower named,” he said. “It was a nice tribute to the volunteers because it’s been a program of the Petit Family Foundation.”

“Michaela, right before she died she had just finished fifth grade and she learned about Gandhi,” said Dr. Petit. “She had seen the quote ‘you must be the change you wish to see in the world,’ so we’ve used that.”

“The Michaela’s Garden project was about growing the flowers, harvesting the seeds, passing them on to other people,” he said. “People like to say ‘plant the seeds of hope, seeds of change.'”


Soroptimist International of Farmington Valley

Last night's fundraiser for Soroptimist International of Farmington Valley was hilited by Gina Barreca's very funny talk, and announcement that her The Hartford Courant column is now nationally syndicated! A great woman to watch...(And Dartmouth College alum like Bill!) The Petit Family Foundationwas a sponsor for the evening.

 — with Gina Barreca and Pff Petit at Toast to Women - An Evening of Wine & Chocolate! 

Public Hearing in support of HB 5174

A heartfelt Thank You to students Jenna Tinker and Kelley Crittenden for testifying in person at the Public Hearing in support of HB 5174!

Thank you also to Lincoln Elementary School teacher Mary Ellen Farrell, Director of Talcott Center for Child Development Kelly Massucci, Michaela's Garden Project volunteer- Karen Patrocinio and Executive Director of Michaela's Garden Project Vicki Scott for testifying.

Thank you to everyone who could not attend, but sent in testimony!

A special Thank You to State Rep. Al Adinolfi for introducing this legislation!

Jenna Loraine Tinker
Lincoln School Green Team
New Britain, CT

Dear Committee Members,
Thank you for giving me the honor to speak with you today. My name is Jenna Loraine Tinker. I'm here in support of the proposed bill #5174 to establish Michaela Petit's four o’clock flower as the children's state flower. When I think of Michaela I think of a strong, 
brave, powerful girl. It's pretty rare for an eleven year old to organize walks and raise money for causes. I got the feeling that she was the kind of girl that wouldn't give up. Kind of like her four o'clock. Just imagine one little seed turning into a thousand flowers. Isnt that amazing?

Kelley Crittenden 
Lincoln School Green Team 
New Britain, CT

Thank you for giving me the honor to speak with you today. I am here in support of the proposed bill #5174 to establish Michaela Petit's four o’clocks as the children's state flower.I think you should consider this act as an example of Michaela showing young people like me, how to be nice, kind and to think of the people around them and not just themselves.

In 2014, The Green Team from Lincoln Elementary in New Britain, planted a bunch of four o’clock seeds at Walnut Hill Park in honor of Michaela. Doing this made me feel good because I like planting things. I felt like I was Michaela because she planted just a few of 
the four o’clocks and now they have grown into many.

Middle School of Plainville Robotics Program

The Middle School of Plainville wins five trophies at the first ever CT state VEX IQ robotics championship!

VEX IQ is a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) robotics program. MSP Technology Education teacher Camille Westfall received a $6,000.00 grant from The Petit Family Foundation to start a robotics program at her school. “I am very grateful to the Petit Family Foundation for providing MSP students with such a wonderful opportunity”, said Ms. Westfall. Although the teams only began designing and building their robots in late December, they had a very busy season, with competitions in Manchester, Mansfield, and Danbury.

Congratulations to all of the MSP Robotics Teams!

Amazing job at the first ever CT State VEX IQ Robotics Championships!

Team RoboDevils
Team RoboMatics
Team Ice Breakers

Best of luck Team Minionizers at the World Championships for VEX IQ this April in Kentucky!

We are proud to support you!