Trey Howard: The Legacy, Chapter One

OKEECHOBEE — This past October was a sad time for our community when we lost two young men in the prime of their lives, Tyrell Taylor and Trey Howard. While their lives were lost in different manners, each death impacted the community in a gut wrenching way. Many in our community felt completely helpless, as we often do when senseless tragedy strikes our young people. For both young men, God had a purpose to share their love and build a legacy one chapter at a time.

Trey Howard

Trey Howard

Trey, while most notably known for his swimming at OHS, was a lover of the written word. Carol Bryant, media specialist at Okeechobee High School, where Trey spent many hours, recalled a conversation with Trey about what he was going to do without being able to see her in the media center at school each day, as his graduation quickly approached last summer. For Mrs. Bryant, who well knows the pain of losing a son, she echoed his words and thought, “Trey, what are we going to do without you?’” Who knew that Trey’s life would generate the largest donation of books and money to purchase books in Mrs. Bryant’s tenure with the Okeechobee County School System.

Mrs. Bryant noted that the schools received approximately $3,500 in monetary donations. She noted that the money first will be used to purchase current young adult literature, next it will be used to replace worn copies of student favorites and then it will be used to maintain book sets, upgrade classics and improve non-fiction titles. An additional 50 books were donated in memory of Trey as well.

On behalf of the family of Trey Howard, Mrs. Bryant and those involved with the book donations, words cannot begin to express thank you to our wonderful community and all of the donors that made this possible.

Superintendent of Schools Ken Kenworthy noted, “Our community continues to amaze me with their generosity. The gift of reading has a tremendous impact on the future of our students. The fact that these books may enhance the lives of others is such a great tribute to Trey. I appreciate Trey’s family for choosing this type of memorial so he may be remembered by generations to come for his love of reading.”

As our community helps to write Chapter One of Trey’s legacy, what a tremendous way his life has been honored and remembered by sharing our love for Trey and passing along his love for reading to other students. Now, thousands of children in our schools will see the efforts of this community and their love for Trey, while they simply sit to enjoy a book.

It is not too late to donate, if you would like to do your part honoring the life of Trey Howard, you may make a donation in the following ways:

1. Feel free to donate books to any school by dropping them off at that school. We will make sure that labels are created to honor Trey as well as the donor.

2. You can drop off books at the County Office and designate a specific school and we will make sure they are directed to the school of your choice.

3. In the event you or someone you know would like to make a monetary donation so that grade-appropriate books can be purchased on your behalf, an account has been set up at Yearling Middle School. You will be able to designate what school you would like to have the books sent to after they are purchased. Yearling has been kind enough to facilitate the collection of cash and make the purchases on behalf of all schools. They will make sure the donor’s wishes are filled as to which school(s) will receive the books.

Leah Suarez is a freelance writer.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.