News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 25, 2012

FLYING HIGH: North students raise funds to remember classmates

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Tre’ Fletcher and Cameron Taylor died much too young, but their memory lives on, thanks to the efforts of two Terre Haute North Vigo High School classmates.

Tre’ was just 17 when he passed away in July, and Cameron was only 18 when he died at his home in September.

“This year has been a tough one for the Class of 2013, and especially for the families of Cam and Tre’,” said North senior Jon Kiefer. “No one should have to go through what these families have gone through.”

He and fellow senior Keaton Knight decided to conduct a special fundraiser in honor of Tre’ and Cam. They designed a T-shirt that reads “Uptown Angels” and features a halo on the front; the back of the T-shirt says “flyhigh” and includes angel wings.

The students have sold more than 500 of the T-shirts. On Wednesday, during a news conference, the students presented two donations of $817 each, one to the American Heart Association in honor of Tre’, and the other to the St. Patrick’s School Angel Fund in honor of Cameron.

The shirts “are a small way to help us remember and honor Tre’ and Cam,” Kiefer said. “These two young men made a great impact on many people’s lives. They will be greatly missed.”

Knight added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the two families.”

Jennifer Nanny of the American Heart Association told those assembled, “I wish I was here speaking under different circumstances. My heart goes out to the Fletcher and Taylor families. I can’t imagine what they are going through.”

The donation will go toward funding “live-saving research through the AHA so that one day, other families will not have to endure” such pain, Nanny said.

Amy McClain, St. Patrick’s principal, said Cameron had attended St. Patrick’s School and often returned there for events, including functions involving a younger brother.

The $817 donation will go toward the school’s Angel Fund, which is used “to help students who may not be able to afford a Catholic education,” McClain said. The fund assists with tuition costs.

“We hope to help other students find their own potential and quietly and humbly give back to the community, just as Cameron did,” she said.

Tre’ and Cameron’s families both attended the emotional presentation.

Mark Taylor, Cameron’s father, said after the program, “It means a lot that these kids did this on their own. They decided to do something not only to honor Tre’ and Cameron, but to do something good for the community, and to make a positive out of a negative.”

Karen Johnson, Tre’s mother, thanked the North community and those involved with the fundraising effort. “It’s a wonderful healing process for us,” she said.

Later, in an interview, Johnson said, “This wonderful Class of 2013 had a rough beginning. Tre’ passed in July, Cameron in September, shortly after school started. These boys and girls have pulled together the way God intended for us to pull together and walk through this journey together. I could not ask for a better way to honor my child.”

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.