ENFIELD: A simple need to show respect in some form to fallen Enfield RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson led to an outpouring of support more than Andy Doughty could have imagined.
Const. Stevenson was one of the 22 killed by a gunman during a rampage that stretched 100 kilometres from the rural community of Portapique to Wentworth to Enfield over a 12-hour span.
While it may have been an idea that Doughty came up with, it was the community and that from the East Hants Facebook page that led to it becoming reality.
“As events unfolded through Saturday into Sunday (April 18-19) I like most was lost and devastated as details emerged,” said Doughty in an interview with The Laker News. “My first thought was that I wanted to show my respects to Heidi.”
That is when Doughty spoke with GingerBerry Botanicals, a local florist in Enfield. They agreed to make a wreath for Heidi at cost.
“I felt I should reach out to the community group East Hants, which I started,” he said. “This then grew into a fundraiser and outpouring of support from our community.”
The owner operator of hANDY Cabs said the support seen throughout East Hants and Nova Scotia has been overwhelming.
“It’s beyond what I could ever put into words,” said Doughty. “From welcoming injured officers’ home to lighting candles to just the general outreach of everyone in this terrible situation, I feel is both heart warming and equally heart breaking.”
The amount raised for the fundraiser continues to climb through gifted money; e-transfer and Go Fund Me. As of lunch time on April 22, more than $3,000 had been collected.
“I’ve been talking with the Municipality of East Hants with a plan to plant 22 trees and a plaque,” said Doughty. “They now appear to be taking the lead on this, so I likely will be forwarding collected funds to them towards this.”
He said he needed to do it with or without support from the local community.
“That being said I feel we all needed it, a channel to mourn, grieve and remember,” Doughty said. “I have dealt with Heidi on several occasions as I own a local business and she was always the calming soul in any situation I’d dealt with.
“That is something I will always remember.”