Teen boys throw party, lead by example

Published 7:15 pm Saturday, March 8, 2014

Invitations went out a few weeks ago.

Six friends, students at P.S. Jones Middle School, hatched a plan. Like a lot of teenage boys, they wanted a party to celebrate their 13th birthdays. So they planned one together, at the Washington Civic Center.

Like a lot of teenage boys, they enjoy the outdoors. So they decided on a theme. Wear your camo.

Like a lot of teenage boys, they wanted something for their birthdays, so they decided to stick their wishes right there on the front of the invitation.

That’s where six kids from Washington set themselves apart from a lot of other teenage boys.

Instead of gadgets or sporting goods, instead of gift cards or clothes, this group of boys decided there was a greater need.

Each of their lives had been touched by someone with cancer. A family member. A neighbor. Each of those people had been touched by the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center.

Instead of gifts, why not ask guests to make a donation to an organization focused on a greater good? One that provides medical care, hope and love to cancer patients?

So that’s what they did — Allen Crisp, Grant Crisp, Jackson Paul, Wilson Peed, Harrison Schmidt and Courtland Whitley.

Friends and family helped grant their birthday wishes, raising $1,338 toward the cause.

As a father of three young boys, I’m constantly reminded of the importance of setting a good example for the next generation. Sometimes that generation sets an example for the rest of us.

It may take a village to raise a child, but it took just six boys to raise the bar in our community.

Ashley Vansant is publisher of the Washington Daily News. He can be reached at ashley.vansant@thewashingtondailynews.com.