A memorial wall constructed out of LEGO is in the works to honour Chris Bellchambers.
The memorial is being planned by Orillia resident Jess Shier, who didn’t even know Bellchambers personally.
“I came up with the idea, along with Kevin Gangloff from the Orillia Youth Centre, that we could collect a bunch of LEGOs that the community had signed to make a wall or some type of memorial. That way, the community has a place to come together and grieve right now,” Shier said.
“It’s such a big loss for everybody, and nobody knows how to deal with how they are feeling. So, I thought the LEGO wall would be a nice tribute to Chris."
While Shier might have been a complete stranger to Bellchambers, he was well known to her, her friends and her family.
“I didn’t actually even know Chris by his name, but I knew him for his smile, his personality and who he was. Chris was at every event that I ever attended in town volunteering. So, I felt the ripple and the grief that everyone is feeling right now, and I feel how big of a loss he is to our community.”
“I thought it was important to create an opportunity for Chris’s legacy to be left behind, and also have the community come together in a COVID-safe way.”
Shier asks the community to sign and drop off LEGO pieces along with a minimum $1 donation to either Dapper Depot, Jack & Maddy a Kids’ Store, Ironside E Motors, Easy Home at the Fittons Plaza, or the Jake Beers HXMESWEETHXME campaign located at the Old Train Station Flea Market on Front Street. Proceeds will go directly to the Bellchambers family.
“People can just drop into one of these businesses and come with a LEGO piece they have signed or left a note on, and eventually it will all be collected together to build the wall,” Shier said.
The location of the eventual memorial is still undetermined.
“Ideally, it would be somewhere everyone can access, so that part is still being figured out, but ultimately there is going to be a place that we can do this,” Shier said.
She believes the LEGO memorial will mean the world to the Bellchambers family as it honours his favourite hobby and passion.
“He would run booths and tables at local events where he would show kids how to build things. It was a really big part of who he was and what he liked to do, so the LEGO seemed appropriate,” she said.
The feedback on the memorial has been positive.
“It seems to be something everyone is excited about. It’s something everyone wants to be a part of, and I’m excited to see it all come together now,” she said.