Remembering Nicole

September 5, 2014

submitted by Kelly Champagne

Nicole Jacques touched the lives of many people during her short 14 years.  The former Hudson Litchfield Bears’ cheerleader was remembered by her family on August 26 during a memorial service at Hudson Memorial Middle School where she attended eighth grade last year.  Certainly dedicated to the Bears, Nicole was considered a cheerleader off the field as well.  Her positive aand enthusiastic attitude was evident to all who knew her.  Nicole was 14 when she passed away the morning of May 29 after a difficult battle with a rare form of liver cancer.

As music played, a member from each of the teams was asked to pour sand, colored blue and white, to symbolize the Bears family uniting together in remembrance of Nicole.

“Nicole touched so many in her short time with us,” said Kelly Champagne, president of the Hudson Litchfield Bears.  “I so often hear people sharing memories about Nicole and the one thing that stands out to me is how people talk about her smile and her gentle personality.  She was the girl that lit up a room when she walked in.”

One of Nicole’s good friends, Kirsten Rourke, was a fellow Bears’ cheerleader and currently a student demonstrator for the Division 12 team.  During the memorial, Kirsten read a poem and shared her thoughts about Nicole:

We thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.

We thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.

We think of you in silence; we often speak your name.

Now all we have is memories, and your picture in a frame, with which we we’ll never part.

Angels, you in their keeping; we have you in our hearts.

Next, Kirsten told those in attendance that the Hudson Litchfield Bears will start an academic scholarship this season in Nicole’s memory.  The Bears will contribute $250 toward a $500 bond each year to fund a scholarship in her name.  This annual scholarship will be awarded by the state to any child in the NH Youth Football & Spirit Conference organization, not only Hudson or Litchfield.

Two symbols have been added to the Bears’ uniforms:  a number 27 and an NJ embroidered on the cheer skirts, on the football players’ helmets and on the board members’/coaches’ shirts.  The number 27 is in remembrance of Zachary Tompkins – a player the Bears lost on March 8, 2010.  The NJ is in memory of Nicole Jacques.

“Both were young, athletic, and vibrant members of our families before they were taken too soon,” Kirsten said.  “Please continue to remember these two angels each and every time you see these symbols – as they will always be our friends – always be Hudson Litchfield Bears – always be our family.”