MEDFORD — Leaders in government, business, and entertainment came together Thursday night with survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and relatives of one of the victims, Krystle Campbell, for an event that raised thousands for a peace garden in her honor.
Hundreds attended the reception at a Medford office park, where supporters donated and pledged more than $65,000, including $50,000 from Tufts University, on top of $60,000 already raised to create a trust fund for park maintenance.
Mayor Michael J. McGlynn announced last month that the city had reached its goal of $1.128 million to fund construction of the park. McGlynn unveiled plans to build a memorial to Campbell and other bombing victims adjacent to the Medford Senior Center last April, just before the first anniversary of the bombings.
Members of Campbell’s family were overcome by the outpouring of support Thursday.
“You couldn’t ask for any better. Krystle would have loved it,” said her father, Bill Campbell. “We’re so lucky to have a community of people caring so much. It’s overwhelming. Just beautiful.”
Krystle Campbell, a Medford native, was one of three people killed and more than 260 injured in the bombings on April 15, 2013.
The peace garden pays tribute to Campbell and the others who lost their lives: 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester and Boston University graduate student Lingzi Lu, both killed in the bombings, and MIT police Officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed three days later as the bombers sought to make their getaway.
The reception fell during the second week of testimony in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose attorneys have said in court that he and his older brother, Tamerlan, were responsible for the blasts.
“It’s been a rough two weeks, with the trial,” Bill Campbell said.
“We didn’t go to see the photographs,” added his wife, Patty Campbell. “We were advised that it would be too much.”
“We want to remember her with a smile, and her giving, and her caring,” Bill Campbell said.
Krystle Campbell’s friend Karen McWatters, who testified in federal court last week that she held Krystle’s hand as the life drained from her on a Boylston Street sidewalk, attended the reception and made a donation to support the park.
McWatters, who lost a leg in the bombings, was joyful Thursday as she remembered her friend and thanked Angela Menino, widow of former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino, for the support of the Menino family. “This is something that Krystle would really, really enjoy . . . so it’s something that we really wanted to support. . . . This is Krystle,” McWatters said of the packed, festive room.
Carlos Arredondo, who became famous for his assistance to bombing victims, also attended and said the event and the park are part of the healing process. Also on hand Thursday night were US Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Boston mayor Raymond L. Flynn, and former state Senate president Therese Murray.