Photo of Trinity Buel taken from the Trinity Marie Buel Memorial Page on Facebook.

ALTON – A group of friends, family and concerned Altonians will gather at Piasa Park Saturday morning to honor Trinity Buel.

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Buel was only 17 when she was killed in a traffic crash earlier this month while leaving her late-night shift at the Alton Steak and Shake. Before her untimely and tragic passing, Buel was a lover of animals and the environment in general – even penning a story about her beloved caves at Piasa Park for Orion, a nature publication. In her honor, her godfather, Chris Unthank, has worked with her family and friends to organize a cleanup effort at that park.

“We're meeting up at the Piasa caves Saturday morning at 10,” he said. “It looks like the weather is going to be good for it. In her writings, Trinity expressed displeasure at the conditions of the caves. I was thinking of ways to honor her memory, and this one is one that will cost next to nothing everyone can do.”

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Unthank said gloves and bags will be provided for those participating, adding a registered nurse will be on scene with proper hazard containment for the very real possibility of finding dirty and used needles. He also said the cleanup effort would continue “until they were done.”

This event is one of what Unthank hopes to be many such efforts throughout the spring and summer months. Eventually, he said he wanted to do enough fund-raising for a local no-kill animal shelter to be able to purchase land or possibly a building addition to be named in honor of Buel's love of animals.

At a candlelight vigil to honor her life, many of Buel's friends and family brought their dogs. Her uncle told reporters she would “borrow” his dog and other people's dogs to go out on the town and enjoy life.

More information on the cleanup event can be found here:

Future events will be broadcast on the Trinity Marie Buel Memorial Facebook page, which can be found here:

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