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Fundraiser named in honor of Eastern super fan Bruce Jackson

Jackson, who was a familiar face to everyone at Eastern Regional High School, passed away in November. Now, a foundation started in his name will honor students who keep his school spirit alive.

Bruce Jackson

The halls of Eastern Regional High School were a lot quieter last November. Cheering at sporting events wasn’t quite as loud, and drama rehearsals lost their main audience member.

Bruce Jackson passed away Nov. 26 due to kidney failure. His constant presence and smile earned him the title of Eastern’s biggest fan. He lived at the rehabilitation center across the street, and showed up at the school daily for any activity taking place.

He was a constant presence at the school — so much so, he was asked to not show up during school hours.

“He was here no matter rain, sleet or snow,” said Gary Worthington, health and physical education teacher at the school. “He was a part of everyone here.”

Now, the school is keeping his name alive. Worthington has started the Bruce Jackson Foundation, a fundraiser that will award students who maintain the same school spirit and positivity Jackson embodied.

“It’s for seniors who demonstrate strong ideals in community, resiliency and commitment,” Worthington said.

Now in its first year, teachers nominated one boy and one girl to receive the scholarship. Next year, they hope to award two boys and two girls.

Funds will be collected via donation. Donations are being accepted at the foundation’s GoFundMe page. Google Bruce Jackson Fundraiser to find it.

Those wishing to donate can also reach out to Worthington at gworthington@eccrsd.us.

This year, the foundation put together a festival meant to energize students called the first annual Bruce Jackson Spring Festival. It played upbeat music while kids played games such as volleyball, football and cornhole. Worthington reached out to athletic activities for donations.

Jackson had cerebral palsy, and used a wheelchair to navigate. Worthington recalled a time when he wandered onto the football field recently after it had rained and ended up getting stuck in the mud.

“We told him we would leave him there,” Worthington recalled with a laugh. “It took six guys to push him out.”

In 2015, Worthington and others held a fundraiser to get Jackson a new wheelchair. As a Prince fan, he insisted the wheelchair was purple to reflect the singer’s album, “Purple Rain.”

Other than Prince, Jackson’s first love was Eastern.

“It’s my purpose to make sure he isn’t forgotten,” Worthington said.

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