TrentTown Rock was a huge success
MIDDLEBURY — Wow!
That says it all when describing the TrentTown Rock fundraiser for Trent Campbell and Nikki Juvan that took place at Middlebury’s Marquis Theater this past Wednesday evening.
Staff at Addison Press and Freedom Publications put a call out to the community to come together and help our friends Trent and Nikki. As many people know, Trent was the award-winning staff photographer for the Addison Independent for more than two decades when he suffered a stroke in October 2018, knocking him off the job. He suffered another stroke last March.
He is making good progress in recovery but finances for Trent and his wife Nikki have been hard hit. Why not see what people in the community could do for them, we thought. And why not make it a party!
Trent had met, photographed and befriended untold numbers of people around Addison County over the years. And last Wednesday many of them turned out for the party.
The good folks at the Marquis donated the big theater for the party as well as space in the Southwest Café to set up raffle and silent auction items that were donated by local businesses. The Grift, one of Vermont’s most popular and longest-running bands, agreed to play, and the Silverbacks, a very talented local band, also signed on to open the show. Trent sat on a comfy sofa in the front row and well-wishers sat and chatted with him for a few minutes, then made way for the next person.
And when the doors opened people streamed in. And they kept streaming in throughout the evening. At least 150-200 people came to the event — it was hard to count because they mingled in the theater, café and hallways. It felt like a genuine party.
Plus there were more people who gave their support for Trent and Nikki even if they couldn’t be there. More than one person giving a generous contribution said this is for me and my neighbor who couldn’t make it.
Between donations collected at the door and the money raised from the silent auction of nine framed Trent Campbell photos and a raffle of the donated items, the community donated an amazing $5,000 to Trent and Nikki. And that didn’t count the donations that came in cards that we passed on to the couple.
The music from the bands was fantastic, but a highlight of the night came when Nikki surprised her husband with a song. A trained actor and singer, Nikki stepped to the front of the theater and sang “We Live on Borrowed Time” by David Friedman. The song about appreciating the time you spend with loved ones didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.
Trent himself addressed the audience at the end of the evening, thanking everyone for showing up and thanking Nikki for her support. He told how he lay in the hospital bed after the second stroke and didn’t really want to engage with the doctors or even do anything. Nikki stepped in, talked for him and rallied Trent to recovery, he said.
“Nikki was my voice, she was my advocate,” Trent said.
The final event of the evening was something Trent dreamed up. Two donation buckets were put out, one said, “Shave” and one said, “No shave.” Trent agreed to shave or not shave his beard depending on the which brought in the most money. It was a close call, but “Shave” won out. So Trent sat in a chair at the front of the theater and Nikki shaved off his beard.
Still warm from the glow of friendship the next day after the party, Nikki offered this reaction:
“So grateful to all of you at the paper, the Silverbacks, and the Grift and all the sponsors and donors! It was such a fun night and a real celebration for our family for how far Trent has come! We are so thankful to live in such a special community!”
Trent added his two cents:
“We’re honored that people were there and glad that people seemed to have a great time thanks to the organizers and those who donated their time and services.”
Speaking for everyone there, he said:
“What a fun night!”
We are still collecting donations for Trent and Nikki at the Addison Independent office. Or you can donate online at gofundme.com/f/trent-campbell-stroke-recovery-fund.
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