Rock Hill shooting victims leave legacy at Camp Joy

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – We’ve learned that four of the people killed in the mass shooting in Rock Hill have special connections to an organization in the Upstate.

In a statement, the family of Robert, Barbara, Adah, and Noah Lesslie asked that memorials or gifts be sent to the Camp Joy office on S. Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville, in honor of hope and the promise of eternity.

Those with the camp told 7 News they’re devastated, as these four individuals meant so much to them.

Dr. Brent turner with Camp Joy said Robert and Barbara Lesslie were the perfect representation of their camp’s motto.

“Jesus first, others second, and yourself last,” Dr. Turner said. “They were so invested in this ministry.”

Camp Joy is a Christian camp, serving those with special needs.

But sadly, the camp lost two of their most valued staff members Wednesday in a mass shooting in Rock Hill.

“It is a family ordeal, and we feel like we’ve lost a very important piece of this family,” Dr. Turner said.

Turner said the Lesslies volunteered with the camp in Flatrock, NC for more than 20 years.

Robert Lesslie served as a camp doctor.

“He was so good with our campers. He was always listening,” Turner said. “Sometimes, our campers could be a little dramatic, but I can just remember him always putting his arms around them and loving them and caring for these special needs campers.”

His wife Barbara taught bible class.

“So dynamic in her personality. She would walk into the dining hall and campers would literally just run to her,” Turner said. “She knew their names. She memorized their names and knew who they were.”

Turner said the couple got their whole family involved, including their grandchildren who passed away with them.

“The Lesslies knew that they wanted their kids and their grandkids to be around such an environment, so they could learn to serve just as they did,” he said.

That’s why, Turner said, it was no surprise to him to hear the family wanted memorials sent to the camp.

“It was their heart; it was their passion,” he said. “Seeing them interact with every special needs camper, it’s obvious it was their passion.”

And while many hearts are broken, Turner said he believes there is good that will come from all of this.

“What Satan meant for evil, God means for good,” he said. “I don’t understand this tragic, tragic incident, but I am so thankful that the Lesslies and their involvement with Camp Joy, and their passion about it, through their death, they are honoring this great camp.”

Turner told 7 News the camp is working on a way to honor and remember the Lesslies and the impact they made on Camp Joy.

For more information on how you can donate to Camp Joy, click here or here.

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