Keeping Noelle’s spirit alive

Tyler Smith wants to use music to remember Noelle Paquette.

“She was always smiling, never in a bad mood, always a happy-go-lucky person…always high-spirited,” says Smith, one of the organizers of a benefit for the foundation set up by the family of the 27-year-old teacher who was murdered New Year’s Day.

Smith didn’t know Paquette well. The pair went to the same high school and Smith would see her around Sarnia during First Friday occasionally. Smith, like thousands of other people in the community, was shocked by Paquette’s murder. He knew he wanted to help, so he and some of Paquette’s other friends and acquaintances decided to set up For the Love of Noelle, a benefit concert Feb. 16 at The Metro Room in Jack Doyle’s Irish Grille and Sports Bar.

Five bands – That Dirty Racket, Fire Engine Red, When Systems Collide, Marty Oblak and Nic Swales – will be playing starting at 4 pm to raise money for Noelle’s Gift. It’s a foundation set up by Paquette’s family to ensure needy Lambton students have lunches, school supplies and even clothing. So far, the foundation has raised $47,000

“The goal is to keep her memory alive, and her legacy…while it is in the forefront of the news and in people’s minds,” Smith says adding “I’ve played music all my life; it’s what I do …I figured if I could help out by throwing some sort of benefit, it would be music.“It’s a way to keep her alive for everyone.”

Aside from the night of music, there will be a silent auction with items donated by local businesses. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Jack Doyle’s or Indigo Hair Works.

Smith isn’t sure if Noelle would have enjoyed the music at the event “I’m not really sure what type of music she was really into,” he says. “But she would want people together and celebrating and thinking positive more so than mourning. She would want people to come together and be happy and smile and just to have fun.”

– Heather Wright