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April 24, 2024

Words & Wisdom 2024: An Evening with Ashley Campbell

Meredith Herrera

The 7th Annual Words & Wisdom event, hosted by the Senior Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, was a celebration of the new Child Life Zone set to open later this year as well as the one-year anniversary of the Children’s Tower. The evening also featured impactful stories from guest speaker Ashley Campbell.

An international singer-songwriter, talented musician, and daughter of late country music legend Glen Campbell, Ashley shared her journey which included how she found her connection to music, touring with her father as a band member on banjo, and how music became a powerful tool when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. Her presentation featured clips of live footage like impromptu father-daughter sessions and scenes from their documentary-style farewell tour, “I’ll Be Me”. As her face beamed up at the video of them playing music together, the power of music was not only heard, but felt. The success of his last tour and the energy and clarity with which he played music turned a two-month tour into a two-year tour from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.

Ashley shared that as her father’s health deteriorated, music never left him. She witnessed that music came from his core memories, and they continued to play at home with other friends to keep the connection alive. Over the last few years they had together, Ashley would just sit and play her banjo to keep ministering through music. Eventually, she started preparing for the day when her father wouldn’t be able to recognize her, so she wrote the song “Remembering” and would play it for him until he passed in 2017. It was a very cherished moment when she played that same song live for the audience, as well as “Gentle on my Mind”.

No matter the age, music is tied to something deep within each of us; whether it’s a child or a country music icon. This Words & Wisdom event raised $185,000 for the new Child Life Zone, a sanctuary within the hospital where kids can be kids. It will feature state of the art therapeutic play areas like sensory stations, music therapy, gaming, art studios and teen lounges. With the care, commitment, and expertise of the Child Life Team, this innovative space will become an oasis for kids.