FWISD STUDENT WINS HERO AWARD
Fort Worth, Texas - Tanglewood Elementary School student Will Lourcey, age 8, has been named one of ten national winners of the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize honors 25 inspiring young people--10 winners and 15 finalists--who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Barron Prize winners each receive $2,500 to be applied to their higher education or to their service project.
When presenting his $2,500 prize to Tarrant Area Food Bank recently, Will said, "I really don't think of myself as a hero, just a little kid making a big, big difference."
Bo Soderbergh, executive director of the Food Bank, concurred. "Will and his FROGS group are indeed making a big difference," he said. "Since two summers ago when he organized Friends Reaching Our Goals," Soderbergh said, "Will and his young male buddies have raised over $12,000 for the Food Bank and collected over 2,000 cans of food. They've also initiated several community partnerships to help support their fight against local hunger. Add the Barron Prize to this record and the FROGS have provided resources equivalent to more than 44,000 meals," Soderbergh explained.
Will began his work after passing a homeless man on the corner each time his family drove home from baseball games. He decided to raise money to buy food for the man, but then realized he could do something to help more than just one person.
Will put his ideas onto paper and, toting three pages of notes, asked his dad to accompany him to Tarrant Area Food Bank. There, he explained to Soderbergh and other Food Bank staff that he and his friends would hold garage sales and lemonade stands over the summer to raise money to purchase food for the hungry. He also outlined his plans for "Hits Against Hunger" and "Kicks Against Hunger," for which elementary students would find sponsors to pledge money for each run or goal they scored during baseball and soccer games.
With Tarrant Area Food Bank's blessing, Will then prepared a flip chart and handouts, and the following week, gathered 10 friends around a Food Bank conference table and called his first meeting to order. Asked what keeps him enthusiastic about his FROGS group, Will said, "I've learned you can't just be a watcher. You have to be a do-er!"
The FROGS were a Super Bowl SLANT 45 group and were included in a video documentary about the SLANT 45 youth volunteer program of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. SLANT stands for Service Learning Adventures in North Texas.
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