Virginia and Verne Campbell are two quiet powerhouses at schools across Southern Colorado. Verne is an Army officer with 25 years of active duty. He retired 27 years ago. His rich musical history includes commanding the band at West Point, Chief of Bands, Deputy Commander of the Army Band in Washington and directing the U.S. Herald Trumpets during the first year of the Reagan Administration. You can see he knows a lot about music. This is where we begin his story of help and hope to Southern Colorado Middle Schools.
About a year and a half ago, Verne and his wife went into a Kansas antique store and came out with a trombone and an idea. He told me, "My good wife Virginia said you don't need another instrument. I said you are absolutely right. This is too good of an instrument not to be in some kid's hands." Verne started buying instruments from the horn section out of thrift stores and anywhere else and then refurbishing them to go to middle school students. So far he's donated more than 50 and isn't about to stop. Verne told me a wonderful story about a child who got one of the donated instruments that the child's parents wouldn't have been able to buy. Verne was introduced to the child, "He had the biggest smile on his face and he was waving the clarinet to his classmates. He was delighted he could start band."
Verne's wife, Virginia is also a helping hand for kids. She volunteers at School District 11's Will Rogers Elementary. In addition to helping to collect donations of books, money and other supplies for the kids she helps them find their poetic passion. Virginia has been focusing on the second grade class. She thumbed through a book of poems the kids wrote thanks to her guiding hand. It was inspirational to see and hear the words pop off the paper. Virginia said it best about why she does this, "I love children and I love to make them happy. It's about doing what you should for your community."
Stephanie Cardwell is also a volunteer at Will Rogers Elementary. I asked her if the couple are heroes. Here's what Stephanie told me, "I think they are heroes. They go beyond what most people would do."
That's why Virginia and Verne Campbell are our Wear Red Friday Heroes. If you know someone who is worthy of this title, go ahead and nominate them. Go back to our front page on KRDO.com. The nomination form is on our Wear Red section on our the right side of our home page.