Trenton Park was in a celebratory and sentimental mood, with the family of Debbie Campbell accompanied by students and teachers from Trenton Elementary School celebrating her legacy.
The fourth annual Debbie Walk was the culmination of a fundraising effort on the part of Trenton Elementary teachers and students, and the family of Debbie Campbell, an educational assistant at the school who died of cancer in 2015.
Since then, the community in Trenton has banded together to help raise money for travel expenses for those dealing with illness, who need to travel to other hospitals for treatment.
Debbie’s husband John Campbell said his wife was a very giving person, and he sees it fitting that that such a generous event is held in her name.
“She was such a giving person for kids her whole life. There are no words to explain how proud I am,” said Campbell, referring to the turnout on Monday morning in Trenton Park. “The best part of it all is how much effort the teachers and children put into it – there is so much work that went into this and it’s amazing.”
Campbell said he finds it appropriate that the fundraiser associated with the walk was to help with travel expenses for those who are ill, given how many times the Campbell family had to travel from hospital – to hospital, to hospital – while Debbie fought her battle with cancer. “Debbie never kept any of the money donated to her to travel (that wasn’t used for travel) – she donated it all.”
After students, teachers and family walked a route that took them through the park, a number of performances at the amphitheatre were dedicated to Debbie – including poems, singing and dancing from students at the school. Local musician Maurice Poirier played a series peppy, cheery tunes on his guitar that brought the Trenton students to their feet, and to the foot of the stage to dance.
Trenton Elementary principal Mike Washburn said the event over the course of the last five years has raised over $5,000 – and that the support the Debbie Walk gets is growing every year. This year alone fundraising totalled $2,000.
“It’s really snowballing,” said Washburn, having to raise his voice to be heard over the sounds of the music and merriment at the amphitheater.