The National Honor Society Club at Prairie View Academy is exemplifying their “desire for service” by collecting canned goods for the Fifth Annual William Reece Kemmerly Food Drive.
On June 18, 2008, two-year-old Reece died in a drowning accident in Mer Rouge.
Jason Crockett, who is close friends with Reece’s mom, Felicity Kennedy Kemmerly, organized the food drive in an effort to keep his memory alive.
“This food drive is a testament to the spirit of Reece and to honor the Kemmerly and Kennedy families,” Crockett said. “Reece has touched and continues to touch more people in his lifetime than most of us will ever accomplish in our lifetimes.”
NHS supervisor Leslie Petrus said she is “proud” to be a part of the food drive because of the effect it has on the students who participate.
“I like to see the students giving back and taking a leadership role,” she said. “It shows that they are concerned about others in our community.”
The food drive will be held this year from Nov. 5-16. During this time, NHS students make posters and hang them throughout the school announceing the drive. They will also give other students a verbal reminder of the drive and pass out empty boxes to each home room.
“Students at the school fill the boxes with canned goods and at the end of the drive Jason Crockett picks them up in a trailer,” Petrus said. “He then brings them to the Council on Aging who distributes them to less fortunate families for Thanksgiving.”
Crocket said for every box that is filled, he will donate a hen to put with the commodities.
“I have several people who help me financially to purchase the hens,” he said. “Those donors remain anonymous to everyone except Felicity.”
Crocket said the donars, “like myself, do not want credit. This in not what this food drive is about for us.”
Petrus said last year, Felicity visited the school and saw what the students were doing in honor of her son.
“She walked around the school and visited all the classrooms,” she said. “She was honored that we do this and keep his memory alive. It was very emotional.”
Crocket said he appreciates the hard work of the faculty and students at Prairie View Academy and Reggie DeFreese with the Council on Aging.
“They give so generously to make this food drive so special,” he said. “This is about a child whose memory continues to ensure that those people in need in our parish have a complete meal for Thanksgiving. It is about the absolute loyalty to a friend and her family.”