Airline Remembers Its Own While “Helping Hearts”
Once a Viking, always a Viking.
It has been eight years since beloved Airline High School junior Katy Watkins and two other classmates were given their wings. The three girls were on their way to a football game to support their Vikes when they were killed in an automobile accident.
Yet something good has come of that tragic event. Two houses have been built in Bossier at the corner of Youree and Nina for veterans through the Katy Build project, an arm of the Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana and Asbury United Methodist Church. In the near future a third will be built, thanks to Airline High School’s efforts.
During a recent Airline pep rally, the Student Council presented a check for $3,500 to Watkins’ parents and the Fuller Center to go toward building a third house on Katy’s Corner. Not only did students raise the money simply by participating in a jeans day, but there are also plans for them to help build the next house in memory of their fellow Vikings.
“It’s great that Airline and the entire community has been so supportive for the last eight years,” Steve Watkins said after the check presentation. Tears welled in his eyes as his wife, Robin, chimed in.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “It means so much that these kids would do this to pay it forward.”
Cathy Scott, Student Council Sponsor at Airline, explained each year the council adopts a project to support. It was not a tough decision to support Katy Build, in memory of a former Viking.
It was also the Student Council’s idea to help the Rutherford House. Again, once a Viking, always a Viking.
At Airline’s Homecoming game, the Student Council donated more than 1,600 paper good items to the Rutherford House in memory of Dr. Eliot Knowles. He was the Executive Director of the Rutherford House and long-time Voice of the Vikings who announced all of the football games, until his death last year. The entire student body got behind the project, collecting paper towels, toilet tissue and the like.
Knowles’ son, Lee, said the paper goods help the Rutherford House off-set costs, allowing the school for troubled teens to put its dollars in other areas where needed.
Rallying behind the Katy Build Project and the Rutherford House is Airline’s way of embracing “Helping Hearts: The Power of We,” a community service effort spearheaded by Bossier Schools.
What the Vikings will do for other Vikes -- whether with them in the present or in their hearts -- is nothing short of inspiring.
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