Loveland’s first Christian church to dedicate HeART in memory of 16-year-old – Loveland Reporter-Herald
The loss of a child to suicide by a family is reflected in the latest contribution to the Loveland Chamber of Commerce’s City with HeART sculpture program.
On Sunday, September 26, First Christian Church will dedicate “Maverick’s HeART” during the 10 am church service. The public is invited and welcome.
Maverick Albert Campisi, 16, died on June 17, 2016. His parents Michael and Tracey Campisi commissioned local artist Cynthia Danielle to create the sculpture in memory of Maverick.
Although the family live in Arizona, they have a long-standing connection with Loveland. They hope, through this prominent sculpture exhibition, to encourage other grieving families and prevent further suicide deaths.
The inauguration date was chosen because September is National Suicide Prevention Month and because it falls three days before Maverick’s birthday. Her grandparents, Nancy and Rod Depperschmidt, were members of the congregation for many years, and her memorial service was held there in 2016.
First Christian Church placed the sculpture on campus at 2000 N. Lincoln Ave., as part of a “Garden of Hope” project. The site will be designed as a place where people can come to seek peace of mind, meditate, pray or simply enjoy the beauty of the region.
Pam Hilliard, the church’s pastor for grief and loss, said the project was a community effort. She named Fort Collins-based GROUP Mission Trips and the nearby Ward Construction Co., which donated labor and materials to install the core.
Each summer, FCC welcomes hundreds of youth and their adult church sponsors across the country as part of the GROUP’s Week of Hope volunteer program. Last summer, in addition to their work throughout the community, the youth helped dig and plan the garden site.
“It was a powerful experience for these kids to learn more about Maverick. Many of them had experienced the death of a family member or classmate by suicide, and they could relate to themselves, ”Hilliard said. “We had some of Maverick’s remains, which were included under the base. My colleague Pastor Tracy Morgan led a prayer circle with the group to dedicate the site.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.