News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 25, 2013

‘This is the best day of my life’

Ethan Hooper receives the Cameron Langenfeld Memorial Award

Dustyn Fatheree
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Having a big heart, perseverance and an ability to help are a few traits that the recipient of the fifth annual Cameron Langenfeld Memorial Award exemplifies.

The award was given Thursday to Ethan Hooper at the Riley Elementary School graduation. There were a total of three children nominated.

“This is amazing,” Hooper said with a smile. “This is such an amazing award and I can’t believe I got it. This is the best day of my life.”

The recipient of the award receives a $50 check from Terre Haute Saving’s Bank, a $25 Walmart gift card, a Riley Volunteer Fire Department medallion, a framed certificate, a plaque, a motivational bracelet and their name engraved into a memorial plaque shown in Riley Elementary School.

Langenfeld, a former Riley student, was killed when a vehicle hit him while he was on his bicycle June 1, 2007, and an annual award was created in his memory in 2008.

“It is always bittersweet to give out a memorial award,” said Pam Bird, Cameron’s mother. “We are looking for someone who does the right thing not to be recognized, but because it is the right thing to do. It is important to recognize those traits and this award shows the recipients that they are special.”

Students are anonymously nominated by teachers and staff who think they exemplify the characteristics outlined for the award. In early May, a board of about 10 members meet and discuss the nominees until a consensus is made on who the recipient is, she said.

In the past, there have been up to seven nominees, she added. This year there were three, which included Hooper and Jarred and Jasper Rees.

“Every year we have given this award out, the recipient has been perfect,” Bird said.

Reporter Dustyn Fatheree can be reached 812-231-4260 and dustyn.fatheree@