Fundraiser planned for Navy SEAL's last request
The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.
To many who knew him, Petty Officer First Class Chris Campbell was a man of valor, devoted to both his community and country. They also knew him as an avid outdoorsman who had begun to explore the sport of bow hunting.
Campbell, 36, a Jacksonville native and Navy SEAL who was killed in August in Afghanistan, made a final request to raise awareness about supporting the nation’s wounded service members. Campbell’s family and friends are now planning an upcoming fundraiser that combines his new sport and his last request.
The first Frogman 3D Bowhunters Challenge is scheduled for Aug. 18, two days before the city’s designated Chris Campbell Day. Open registration begins at 9 a.m. and includes a day of bow hunting, archery and fishing activities that the whole family can enjoy.
Chris’ brother Le Campbell organized the event as a way to honor his memory and continue to raise money toward Chris’ request that donations be made in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Frogman 3D Bowhunters Challenge will be held at 555 Grants Creek Road, 15 acres of land that Le purchased several years ago. The goal of the event is to raise $20,000 toward the Wounded Warrior Project and the Navy Seal Foundation. So far, at least $11,000 in sponsorships have been donated.
“After everything that happened, the Navy SEAL Foundation just took care of us; and we said that we needed to do something to give back,” Le said.
Chris’s life has caused an outpouring of support locally and across the nation. His wife Angelina said that the event is a reflection of his personality, describing him as a man who never liked to stay indoors.
“He loved the outsidewas never a television guy,” Angelina said. “He got into bow hunting a couple of summers ago and everything that Chris did he made sure he was super good at it. He always opened himself to become better.”
The event will allow others to take a chance at the sport as well. The 3D bow hunting tournament allows participants to shoot at three dimensional life-sized foam animals to simulate a real outdoor hunt. Activities will include a men’s and ladies open, bow hunter and traditional categories for $20. Youth, in two categories for ages 12 to 16 and 9 to 12, are $10. Ages 9 and under are free. Trophies will be awarded to top three finishers in each class. A silent auction and raffle with a variety of items will available during the day. Family activities will include kids fishing tournament and open fishing at a nearby pond beginning at 8 a.m., dunk tanks, inflatables and more.
“We had to have something that would get kids involved,” Le said. “Chris always wanted to protect kids and those are tomorrow’s leaders. It gives them a chance to go and get involved outdoors.”
Much of the food and auctions items were all donated by local business owners through sponsorships, including Robert Smith with National Wild Turkey Federation and Clyde Dougherty of the Lejeune Archery Club. Several sponsorship opportunities are still available.
Although Le has high hopes that this event will raise enough money for Chris’ request, he also would like to see it grow into an annual celebration and adventure for local families. Just as he did during his life, Angelina said that Chris still continues to bring many people together.
“It’s amazing to look back and see different walks of life that he has affected,” Angelina said. “There were so many different sides to Chris, not just the military side. He was a great friend who could talk to anybody and very humble and that’s what made a difference.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/frogmanbowhunterschallenge or contact Le Campbell at 910-787-2849.