Trestle trail shooting victim remembered with random acts of kindness

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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - The youngest victim of 2015 Trestle Trail shooting would have turned 14 years old on December 7. Olivia Stoffel, her father Jon, and another man, Adam Bentdahl were killed at random by a gunman on the Menasha bridge. The gunman then took his own life.

Olivia Stoffel and her father John
Olivia Stoffel and her father, John Stoffel (photo provided)

On her birthday, and every day, Olivia's spirit live on through others' kindness.

She was the youngest victim in the tragedy, 11 years old at the time of the Trestle Trail shooting. She is remembered as a wise soul.

"Olivia was a child who loved God and loved other people, so she just wanted to share God's love with other people," says Becky Kopitzke from Neenah.

Olivia's love of God inspired the creation of Olivia's Heart, a Facebook group which encourages people to live life like Olivia by being kind.

On her birthday, Olivia's Heart asks people to perform random acts of kindness in her memory.

The Fox Crossing Police Department is one of many groups paying it forward.

According to Officer Daniel Wiechman, "I think it's a great reminder to the community about what happened here and to remember that today, not just today, but every day we should be doing acts of kindness to others and just making our community a better place."

From coffee mugs and coupons on traffic stops to goodie bags being secretly placed on the windshields of unsuspecting library visitors in Neenah, the small gestures serve a much greater purpose.

Kopitzke says, "Really grateful for the years she had here and for the chance that we have to really show people the love she had for God and other people."

And that spirit will live on, thanks to the kindness of others.

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