Franklin High School senior Erin Campbell is closing in on the home stretch of her high school career. One of the few things that she has left to do is her senior project presentation. To complete the task, students are required to spend 15 hours with a mentor, write a research paper, and give a presentation to five judges who will determine the level of success a student has achieved. Many choose to spend time learning a trade like photography, or a hobby like kayaking, but Campbell decided to instead use the assignment as a way to raise money for something that she felt passionate about.
The Hospice House Foundation of Western North Carolina was established in 2005 with hopes of one day realizing the need for a Hospice House here in Franklin. The HHF has been gaining momentum and now owns a home on Maple Street. After enough money is raised, the home will be open to those who are dealing with end of life issues including families and caregivers. The facility will have doctors, nurses and volunteers onsite to assist families who are going through difficult times, which Campbell understands firsthand.
“I am in the nursing program at the high school and I've seen the need for the house,” she said. “Also, I've had family that has used hospice before and I think that the house would have helped to make the patient and the family more comfortable in the difficult time.”
The HHF is currently attempting to raise $2 million in order to receive $1 million challenge grant from the State Employees Credit Union. Seeing the need for such a facility in her personal life as well as her educational surroundings, Campbell decided to organize a fundraiser.
An avid golfer and fresh off playing in the 2A state tournament, she decided to put together a glow in the dark night golf tournament called "Night Vision" that took place at Franklin Golf Course. All of the proceeds from the event went to the HHF. There were about 20 participants, with the winner receiving $100. After the prize was distributed and all was said and done, a total of $600 was collected for the Hospice House.
“We are just so thankful that you have chosen to do this project and give towards the Hospice House,” said Patricia Cabe of the HHF when Campbell handed over the money bag on Friday morning. “It's so nice to see a student do a fundraiser like this.”
Her final speech for the project will take place on Jan. 7 and despite finishing the project, she hopes that the work she has done will be a lasting influence in the community.
“I think the senior projects are great for students. It gives them the chance not only to learn something new but to help out the community as well. I hope my project inspires others to help those who are in need,” she said.