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Community rallies after act of vandalism impacts family

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It was a sad story with a happy ending and now one local girl is going to benefit from the community rallying together.
April Budd and her family came home to their residence on Opaskwayak Cree Nation Monday evening they came across a scene of destruction in their backyard. The family’s trampoline had been destroyed, slashed numerous times and stomped on.
“We walked in the house because we were going to prepare supper right away and she (April’s daughter) came out and got us and she was telling her dad ‘Dad, it’s broken, it’s broken.’ He went outside and he said ‘April, come here’ and I went back there and it was just a mess,” said Budd.
The senseless act of vandalism happened around 4:30 p.m., occurring in broad daylight while the family was out for a walk.
“We don’t know who it was. We’re assuming but we can’t point fingers,” said Budd.
Budd was outraged by the vandalism and elected to post a photo of the trampoline to the Facebook group The Pas Rants, Raves, and General Discussion, a forum where people speak about the pros and cons of the community at large.
“I was already mad. We didn’t even have supper I was so upset, I was crying for my daughter. It was upsetting to see that, how could anyone do that,” asked Budd, noting the trampoline was also therapeutic for her 11-year-old daughter who also has autism, rheumatoid and epilepsy. “She loved it. She’d go outside at supper time -she wouldn’t usually eat at the table, she’s her own little free soul- and she’d go outside and eats on the trampoline because it’s in the shade. She likes sitting on there with our dog and she loves it, it was something she really loves; she was on it every day.”
Many expressed outrage at the situation but another thing happened as well; people began to come forward to help replace the trampoline. Kaydee McShane, the third person to respond to the thread, offered to donate towards the purchase of a new trampoline and from there many others in the community jumped on board.
“ It just broke my heart and the first thing that came to my mind was to help her get a new one. If it wasn't me, someone else would have started it off I'm sure,” said McShane.
“It was very touching. It wasn’t my intentions to get donations or ask for people to give us money, I was so angry I just wanted to find out who did it,” said Budd.
Now Budd admits being moved in another direction, from anger to gratitude.
“It really touched us so many people wanted to help her,” said Budd, smiling. “I seen comments on there, businesses trying to outbid each other, sending donations and it was really touching for us.”
“We went to the school this morning (Tuesday) and some of the teachers came out with $90 in donations, they collected it in the school. We thought that was really nice, we hugged them all,” added Budd.
McShane took it upon herself to collect the donations and brought them to Budd Tuesday afternoon. Between what had been dropped off with Budd herself and what McShane had gathered $450 had been raised as of Wednesday afternoon.
Now the only problem Budd has is where to get a new trampoline.
“We wanted to buy it locally because so many people are giving locally and we wanted to keep it in our community but I don’t know if there’s trampolines around,” said Budd.
Budd wanted to express her gratitude towards the community for helping her daughter in a moment of need and said she hopes to use the experience as a learning opportunity for her daughter.
“If anyone were in our situation we’d help too. It’s nice to see that.”

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Trent Allen
EDITOR
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