COTTAGE HILLS - Hundreds of people came to enjoy around 20 bands Saturday for the Trinity Memorial River Festival.

The event was created by a team of people close to Trinity Buel, a 17-year-old girl killed in a car accident in February 2018, as well as the managing staff of the Cottage Hills VFW. Through their efforts, they were able to bring a much bigger crowd than Buel's mother, April Gray, could have expected in an extremely short time for planning.

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"This isn't what I expected, but it's everything I could have ever hoped for," Gray said Saturday afternoon.

While Gray said she is intending to enjoy her Mother's Day weekend and will have final monetary counts Monday, preliminary counts at the end of Saturday night showed the festival had garnered more than $5,000 toward Trinity's Way, a non-profit established in Buel's honor to raise money toward causes important to her in her life, including animal rescue and the environment.

Previous to the massive festival with bounce houses and two stages of bands, litter cleanups were done for Buel's honor in her beloved Piasa Park and Northside Park.

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