Bursary will honour memory of daughter
On Saturday, July 14, Riverside Park — beachfront that previously had been under floods was transformed into all things reflective of my daughter, Shayla Rae Dawn Driver.
Her tragic passing last year, before Christmas, sprung forth a need for me to give back to the Kamloops community she resided in; Shayla’s devotion to volunteering for non-profit organizations, inspired me to create a fundraiser called ShaeHarmony, a day filled with art, music, flowers and fun. For me, the day was to focus on what my daughter’s passions were.
Shayla was enrolled for three years at Thompson Rivers University, pursuing studies in Social Work. To honour her, I established in my daughter’s memory: The Shayla Rae Dawn Driver Memorial Bursary at TRU. A thousand dollars is to be awarded every year for the next three years.
Leading up to our event, I dealt with many challenges, including road construction, along with music and equipment not available. As a result of kind-hearted people such as Brett McLeod, who gave his time, equipment and set-up free of charge; Riverside Park was filled with the music I had created from Shayla’s favourite songs.
I am deeply appreciative of Brett, for he showed me a rainbow coloured metal butterfly, which now is on the grounds of the B.C. Wildlife Park with my daughter’s name on it.
I am grateful to Coun. Arjun Singh, who spoke with kindness and appreciation of both Shayla and me. Likewise, I am thankful to the many local businesses who donated supplies and auction items. As I reside in Surrey and coping with the loss of my only child, it was not an easy task to form a fundraise, hundreds of miles away in Kamloops.
I was fortunate, for Safeway generously provided $150 worth of brilliant flowers that adorned a canvas from Trends Art and Frame. A unique mural was created by the youth of the CMHA; reflective of vibrant colors and images, with messages to Be Free! I am grateful to The City of Kamloops for the donation of potted flowers that brightened the invisible border of artwork and décor.
Thank you to the many local people who gave their donated pieces of art to be auctioned, in addition to the volunteers who provided their time and efforts. I am thankful for Interior Display Services, who provided all of the easels to display art that was connected to my daughter, in some way.
To those people who were dedicated to ensuring the success of ShaeHarmony, I applaud you for supporting an event, which benefits students at Thompson Rivers University.
At the closing of the fundraiser, we gathered on stage of the Rotary Band Shell and released 21 Painted Lady Butterflies provided by Flutterbuys, in memory of my daughter. My heartfelt thanks to all those who participated, including Alexa Manuel, who represented the Aboriginal traditional singing and hand drumming of The Woman’s Warrior song.
To those who donated funds and are continuing to do so, my daughter’s legacy will carry on to thrive in the dreams of others! To date, $2,000 has been raised, providing two years of The Shayla Rae Dawn Driver Memorial Bursary that will be awarded.