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Spreading Happiness

Spreading Happiness Spreading Happiness
– KHS Graduate Ashley Trapp Donates To Shining Stars By Anne Trautner Members of the Shining Stars dance team always have big smiles on their faces when they perform.The group is made up of children and adults with special needs who love to dance and perform. The dance group had an extra reason to celebrate when they performed at Main Street Mania in Campbellsport on Thursday, Aug. 8.Ashley Trapp, a 2019 graduate of Kewaskum High School, presented the team with a check for $500 at the street festival.Ashley had been awarded the Champions of Change Rising Star Award from the Volunteer Center of Washington County earlier this year. As part of the award, Ashley received $500 to donate to the charity of her choice.“I chose the Shining Stars because those girls mean a lot to me. Seeing them dance makes me happy,” Ashley said. Rising Star AwardAshley received the Champions of Change Rising Star Award after being nominated by Karla Daane, a counselor at Kewaskum High School.“Ashley is one of the most dedicated students in our school. Her leadership and the community involvement that she has portrayed throughout the community is just exceptional,” Daane said.During her high school career, some of the things Ashley was involved in were National Honor Society, Peers for Peers, Student Government, Freshmen Mentors and FFA. She has volunteered as an activities aide at the Samaritan Health Center, stock rotator at the Kewaskum Food Pantry and mentor for a Youth Girls Basketball Team.With the help of her parents, Randy and Jessica Trapp, Ashley started and coordinated the Travis Trapp Memorial Foundation in honor of her brother, who died in a car accident five years ago.“I previously lost my brother. I also lost my childhood home in a house fire. When tragedy hits a person so hard, you start to realize the importance of what life and others mean to you. To me, volunteering is not about the paycheck. It’s about making connections with people that are at a hardship or just needing a friend at a time,” Ashley said.Over the past few years, the family has given out over $75,000 through the Travis Trapp Memorial Foundation. The funds have gone to scholarships and various nonprofit organizations.The Shining Stars is one of the groups that has received funds from the foundation.The Shining Stars dance group has always had a special place in Ashley’s heart.“Before she was born, when I was pregnant with her, we thought she was going to have Down syndrome,” explained Ashley’s mother, Jessica Trapp.“I could have been like that,” Ashley said. The Shining StarsThe Shining Stars dance group is an organization that serves people with special needs in the Campbellsport and Kewaskum school districts.“They dance and have a good time, and they make me happy,” Ashley said.The Shining Stars dance team was started by Mary Bilgo, who is originally from Kewaskum. The group is comprised of children and adults from age 8 now to about 34.“Our little group is so thankful to people who have helped in many ways, and who donated money toward our group,” Bilgo said.She started the group wanting to raise funds for an “upsee,” a special harness that would enable one of the girls to stand and perform with the help of a dance partner. Without the special equipment, the girl is confined to a wheelchair.“I went on Facebook and I asked if I could find 50 friends to give me $10, so I needed $500 to get this upsee for her, and we raised about $2,100. The community really pitched in,” Bilgo said.The Trapp family was one of the donors for that equipment.“Every year they have donated to our team. It amounts to about $2,000, so we are really thrilled and happy to have such great people in our community who think of our little team. Thank you,” Bilgo said.“I feel like everyone should have an opportunity to happiness, and with their life. These girls definitely make me happy and make me smile,” Ashley said.