BUCHANS, NL – Amber Chippett was just beginning her post-secondary education as a heavy-duty mechanic in Lewisporte when a tragic accident on the highway near her home in Buchans Junction took her young life on Sept. 4, 2015. January 26 would have been her 21st birthday.
Amber graduated from Lakeside Academy in Buchans in June 2015 and had only completed a few days of instruction at Dietrack Technical Institute. Education was important to her.
Amber was also very much a part of the sports scene, being involved in hockey and softball. When she wasn’t involved in the games personally, she could be found volunteering with children on the ice and on the ball field.
She was involved with the Fogo Island Hawks, Central Icepac Hockey Team, Springdale Bravettes, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, Buchans recreational hockey and softball teams, as well as the Junior Canadian Rangers.
Amber was a fun and generous individual who helped family, neighbours and friends whenever she could. The day of the accident that took her life, she was bringing a friend to the bus stop as a favour.
Amber left behind a large circle of relatives and friends and it is through them that her mom, dad and sister – Michelle, Mark and Samantha – continue to try and cope with their loss.
To honour Amber’s memory and to tie in her love of skating, Michelle began a fundraising event – the annual Skate for Amber skate-a-thon – where family and friends could take pledge sheets and participate in the event at the T. A. Soper Memorial Stadium in Buchans, where Amber spent so much time during her young life.
March 3, 2018 will mark the third annual Skate for Amber.
“It breaks my heart to be doing this, but it makes me so proud of all the support that we get from everyone,” says Michelle, who finds it difficult to believe it’s the third one already.
Support for this year is already coming in. Michelle posted the event on a Facebook page dedicated to remembering Amber Chippett on Jan. 17.
“I have been getting such a great response already today, with donations from across the island of gifts to be used as prizes and fundraisers,” she said.
Money raised from pledge sheets and other fundraising goes into the Amber Chippett Memorial Scholarship Fund to help students from Lakeside Academy who pursue post-secondary education.
Scholarships are presented each year during a Labour Day Softball Tournament held at Amber’s second-favourite venue, the Buchans Ball Field, where she played with an adult team and volunteered with the children who played t-ball or ran with the soccer balls.
In its first year, the skate-a-thon allowed the Chippetts to award two $1,000-scholarships. In 2017 Michelle was able to give one student $1,000 and $500 each to four others.
Enrolment at Lakeside Academy shows there are 10 students who could potentially apply for a scholarship this year.