Community vigil in Leduc remembers teen killed in school stabbing

·2 min read
Balloons were released in Leduc Thursday evening to honour the life of 17-year-old Jenny Winkler. (Tricia Kindleman/CBC - image credit)
Balloons were released in Leduc Thursday evening to honour the life of 17-year-old Jenny Winkler. (Tricia Kindleman/CBC - image credit)

It was silent in Leduc's Telford Lake park Thursday evening as about 150 people watched helium balloons float off into the sunset.

The balloons were released to remember 17-year-old Jenny Winkler, who died Monday after an attack at Christ the King High School in Leduc.

Before and after the balloons were let go, the park was filled with the voices and laughter of her friends, loved ones, teachers and even those who didn't know her, as they shared stories and memories of the "goofy" girl they knew.

Many in attendance took time to walk down the dock at the lake, to spread flowers and flower petals in her memory.

Flowers were offered for those gathered Thursday to throw off the dock in memory of Jenny Winkler.
Flowers were offered for those gathered Thursday to throw off the dock in memory of Jenny Winkler.(Tricia Kindleman/CBC)

The event was organized by Journie White, who said Winkler was her best friend. White said the show of support Thursday night shows how much people cared about Winkler.

"In a small community like Leduc I feel like it affected everyone," White said. "We never expected something this bad to happen, especially in our own classroom"

With graduation coming up in a few months, White is planning a tribute to honour her best friend.

"When I graduate I want her on the side of my chest so that everyone knows that she's with me as I walk down the aisle."

A custom Star Wars helmet was made to remember Winkler, who was a big fan of the movie series.
A custom Star Wars helmet was made to remember Winkler, who was a big fan of the movie series. (Tricia Kindleman/CBC)

Friends brought special trinkets to the gathering Thursday including Russian nesting dolls — Winkler was fascinated by the country and would sing the Russian national anthem everywhere from her brother's truck to the middle of the classroom according to her friends.

Another friend came with a bag of Mr. Noodles, chicken flavour, because she said that was Winker's favourite flavour.

Jenny's father, Dale Winkler, previously told CBC News that she came from a large blended family and many relatives were in attendance Thursday at the balloon release. Winkler said he was struck by the support his family has received.

"This is overwhelming everybody here ... This is all about Jenny," he said.

"Just remember Jenny."