TAYLOR COUNTY—The kind hearts at Little Feet Extended Care set out on a mission to help honor the life of a true American hero and are happy to report that through the generosity of the community, they surpassed their goal.
What started as a way to teach students the importance of kindness and to impart that compassion can have a huge impact, the staff at Little Feet found ways to promote attitudes of friendliness, consideration and generosity through a series of projects.
One such project was geared at helping to raise funds for the Grafton High School Class of 1994’s Hometown Hero Scholarship, created to pay homage to the service and sacrifice of Command Sergeant Major Timothy Bolyard.
Bolyard, or Caveman as he was known by his fellow classmates, was on his seventh deployment with the United States Army, when he sustained critical wounds and lost his life in a roadside attack in Logar Province, Afghanistan, in September 2018.
As one of the highest-ranking, non-commissioned officers in his unit, Bolyard was remembered as being someone that troops looked up to, because above all else, he was a kind man who kept the best interest of his soldiers at heart.
To help honor his life and the sacrifice he made to his country, the Class of 1994 instituted the Hometown Hero Scholarship.
“Our fallen brother, U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Timothy D. Bolyard gave the last 24 years of his life to protect and serve our country,” expressed Steve Louzy, friend and classmate. “It is our mission to show what that man’s sacrifices means to our community, and one way we can do that is through this scholarship fund.”
Each year, the award, totaling $1,994, is presented to an outstanding Grafton High School student. And because they felt that the scholarship not only honors Bolyard but helps a graduate, the staff and students at Little Feet sought to help raise funds.
“We began this project back in June,” shared Little Feet Extended Care Director Jessalea Posey. “Through various fundraisers, including bake sales, a car wash, popcorn sales and attending an after-hours Halloween Bash, we were able to exceed our goal!”
The group just wrapped up a t-shirt sale that helped bring in a lot of funding. The shirts, white cotton featuring an American flag and tribute to Bolyard, were sold with hopes that community members will wear them proudly during the annual Memorial Day activities in Grafton.
“Through all of our various projects, we were able to raise a total of $2,027.13,” Posey reported. “But it gets even better!”
The hard work and dedication that the children were putting in garnered the attention of a generous donor, who pledged to match what the Little Feet students made, up to their goal of $1,994.
“Through the generosity of Erin Poe, who matched the total of $1,994, the total amount raised this year was $4,021.13,” exclaimed Posey. “We want not only thank Erin for her amazing gift, but anyone and everyone who helped us achieve our goal!”
She shared that the students would continue the project in the coming year, with hopes of another successful campaign, all in the name of kindness and honoring the life of one of Taylor County’s brave soldiers.
“Our fundraising efforts are already underway for next year,” Posey imparted. “If anyone would like to donate to help the kids reach another goal, feel free to contact me. And again, thank you all so much!”
To make a donation, Posey can be reached via email at [email protected].