WARSAW — Edgewood Middle School eighth-grade student Trai Davis was honored at the end of the year award ceremony when he presented Edgewood with a special thank you gift.
This story began in March when Davis approached his Project Lead The Way teacher Abbi Richcreek. Davis expressed that he felt like he needed to give back to Edgewood and asked for suggestions. He was passionate about how much he has received from EMS. After brainstorming together, they came up with the idea of dedicating a statue to the school.
Richcreek suggested visiting Superior Landscape Products, a local company that has statues outside. Davis immediately called the company and asked for the owner. He needed to know the cost of a tiger statue. The aluminum caste statue was estimated to be 20″ tall and 45″ long. The estimate was over $400. The following step was to decide how to raise that amount of money.
About that same time, Richcreek was printing the DARE graduation shirts for the police department. Richcreek offered for Davis and his friends to stay after school for four evenings to help for two to four hours. Davis and his friends helped to complete the shirts and in the delivery. Davis was able to earn $300 toward his goal. The rest of his fundraising was held during lunch. Davis sold chances to win suckers and candy and collected donations for students who wanted to play cornhole during their break.
Richcreek quietly updated Principal JoElla Hauselman and together they brainstormed how to make sure Davis’s altruism was recognized and celebrated; this was the first time in the past 20 years that a middle school student took this action to give back to Edgewood. When Superior Landscape Products heard how hard Davis had worked and why he was raising funds, they heavily discounted the tiger statue to help with the endeavor.
To add to their excitement, the statue was purchased without Davis’s knowledge. On Friday, May 28, Davis was recognized at a school-wide convocation for “paying it forward.” Hauselman will now proudly display the “Trai Davis: Paying it Forward” statue that is signed by Davis, in the main office of Edgewood. This is the kick-off for a new annual award given in his honor, reminding us all to pay it forward. Davis thanked Hauselman, Jason Culver, Erin Korreck and Richcreek for making his time at Edgewood Middle School so rewarding. Davis plans to return annually to motivate each class to live to this higher calling.
Warsaw Community Schools recognizes Trai Davis as an outstanding leader for the Class of 2025. His work ethic and generous spirit are commendable.