The Trenton community came together at Mill Hill Park last night to remember the life of Stephanie Campfield, manager of the downtown Trenton Starbucks and a community advocate across Trenton.
Trentonians gathered on Monday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to pay respects, give speeches, and talk about Campfield’s legacy and her positive effect on the community. “She was loved by her community in Trenton, NJ, where she and her husband – Ashshakir Corey Campfield – played an active role in organizing musical events with talented artists across the tri-state area, participating in park cleanups, and coordinating toy drives,” as noted in a heartwarming message on the GoFundMe support page.
Tamika Veal, the organizer of the memorial, explained that Campfield was her light. “She was always the beacon of light for me,” Veal said. “When I had anything going on, she was always there with her support and her love. She always encouraged me to keep going and doing things within in the community.”
Veal remembers fondly the time she spent with Campfield, especially the one Christmas season where the two set up a caravan to deliver toys across the city. “[Campfield] had gifts for kids in the Starbucks store. So we went on when, I tell you, this caravan, for five hours,” Veal said.
Mayor Reed Gusciora spoke at the memorial, remembering his times with Campfield. “The highest levels of government went into Starbucks,” Mayor Reed Gusciora said. “Stephanie reached out and welcomed them into her home…Stephanie was there every time there was a community event. She came with her coffee trays, no matter what. Coffee with cops, coffee with Firemen…you name the group, she welcomed them into her home….Trenton grieves. She was really special.”
Campfield is survived by her husband and her three daughters—Briana (age 19), Kamra (age 4), and Karis (age 3). Campfield’s mother, Ada Rodriguez, explained that she had been overwhelmed with the community’s amount of support and love. “I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that I raised her to come and help the community, to help people not to put them down because of their race or because they’re we’re not well dressed,” Rodriguez said.
After the community spoke and comforted each other, the crowd of people sent up purple balloons with messages written on them into the sky. Crystal Felicano, a community activist, explained that Trenton lost a vital community member last week, and the city mourns her loss. “Stephanie was a bright and shining star here in the city of Trenton. She represented everything right that we could aspire to be. And so she will be greatly missed by all of us here… Prayers for her family; for all the people that love her, and for the city, because we lost someone special in Stephanie,” Felicano said.
You can donate to the GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/remembering-the-life-of-stephanie-campfield.