HomeVoorhees NewsHonoring a legacy of community spirit

Honoring a legacy of community spirit

The Bruce Jackson spring festival was born out of a desire to commemorate a passionate Eastern High School supporter.

Eastern Regional High School is gearing up for its annual Bruce Jackson spring festival Wednesday, an event that pays homage to a cherished member of the school community while fostering camaraderie among students.

The festival is special to both Eastern students and staff, in part because of Jackson’s dedication to the school even as he battled cerebral palsy. He lived at the Voorhees Rehabilitation and Care Center across the street from Eastern.

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“Bruce was truly Eastern’s number one fan,” remarked Gary Worthington, a physical education teacher at the school and one of the event’s organizers.

The festival was born out of a desire to commemorate Jackson’s legacy and display the values he embodied of commitment, dedication, resilience, pride and community spirit as a beloved friend and supporter of Eastern. Jackson passed away in 2016 at the age of 53.

“Bruce’s dedication to Eastern, its students, activities and teams was the reason I wanted to start the Bruce Jackson Spring Festival in his honor,” explained Worthington, a friend of Jackson’s for more than two decades.

The festival is meant to capture Jackson’s infectious spirit, with students participating in a variety of recreational games and activities, from Can Jam to soccer to a dunk tank. Proceeds benefit the Bruce Jackson Memorial Foundation, which awards scholarships to graduating students who exemplify its namesake’s values.

Recipients are selected based on faculty nominations, with an emphasis on qualities such as dedication, resilience, and community mindedness. The Eastern community has continually rallied behind the festival, contributing funds and volunteering time for the event, from donating water bottles to sponsoring activities.

“The kids’ faces and expressions are priceless,” Worthington noted of students.

Contributions to the Bruce Jackson Memorial Foundation can be made directly to the school and donations of water or other supplies are also welcome.


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