'Bittersweet' playground opening in Carbonear for Quinn Butt's mom
Andrea Gosse says it's heartwarming, but a reminder that her daughter is gone
It was a heartwarming, but difficult, weekend for Andrea Gosse, who attended the opening of a second playground in her daughter's memory.
All of this is here because she isn't.- Andrea Gosse
Gosse's daughter Quinn Butt was five when she was found dead in her father's Carbonear home.
Trent Butt has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and arson charges. His trial is scheduled for March 2018.
Now, a playground dedicated to the little girl stands in the community where she lived.
"It's very bittersweet because, it's so nice to see another legacy in Quinn's name, but at the same time, all of this is here because she isn't," said Gosse.
Carbonear is special, too, Gosse said, because so many of Quinn's friends live in the community, and can now go to a park dedicated to their departed friend.
"It's really heartwarming to see everybody here, all our friends and family, and Quinn's friends here to support us."
This was the second Quinn's playground opened since the little girl's death, in a project spearheaded by Adam Stead, who Gosse said has become a close friend in the last two years.
"I always remember my friend Victoria running up my grandmother's steps saying, 'Andrea, I have a message from a man who wants to build a playground for Quinn. And anyway, that's Adam," said Gosse.
"And he's just a part of our family now and a dear friend of mine and I can't thank him enough for everything he's done for us. It's helped us tremendously."
Awareness of domestic violence
Stead is hopeful the playgrounds — in Paradise and Carbonear — will serve as a reminder of Quinn, and more.
"I think it's gonna be a long-standing tribute to Quinn Butt, and also any other woman or child who's ever had domestic violence in their lives," said Stead.
"I think all the volunteers, all the community people came on board and it's just unbelievable to see — by the smiling faces it's definitely well received."
Stead announced earlier this year Quinn's Rockstar Award, a $2,500 prize that will go to someone between the ages of five and 18 who wants to give back to their community.
This year's recipient was Jorja Hinks, 12, who won for her I Am initiative "to create awareness for violence against women."
For Gosse, it means a lot to her to see young people making change in memory of her daughter.
"We have a little girl who has taken upon herself to … she could have done anything with that money, and instead she created an initiative that hopefully will empower a lot of people," said Gosse.
"I'm very proud that a 12-year-old little girl would do that, and again that's because of Quinn."
With files from Jeremy Eaton