Going pink for classmates a cool effort by many EIS students

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Column by Jeff D'Alessio

By Jeff D'Alessio

Here’s how you sometimes can cross paths with an idea: You drive to the McDonalds on Dixie Avenue for a Thursday afternoon cup of coffee and because the drive-thru line is long, you park your vehicle,
go inside and place your to-go order, look around and there you go.
Column idea.
The streaks of pink on about two dozen children could be seen on their cheeks and their foreheads, on their arms and hands, as they stood and sat at McDonalds. Some had thick lines that resembled what you would see under the eyes of a football player; a few had a name written on an arm.
You couldn’t miss the pink unless you really tried.
I was expecting to hear about a class or school project when I asked the question of why most of the kids I saw had pink marked on them.
I heard much more and it quickly became one of those “feel good moments” you sometimes have when you are on the outside looking in on something.
These children, I’m guessing between ages 8 and 13, were unified for one simple cause: To support classmates who had lost their mother the day before to a three-year battle with breast cancer.
Pink, as we all-to-well know, is the color that goes with breast cancer.
But on these young faces from T.K. Stone Middle School and Morningside Elementary School there was something beyond the pink streaks and word of support.
As the kids awaited an after-school drink or meal, or mingled in booths for just some time to be together, there was much more going on: Solidarity for Mary Ann Ball’s family, and especially for her three children, Jackson, Kathryn and Andrew, who attend T.K. Stone and Morningside.
Here is the lump in your throat moment: The pink on their young faces, hands and arms was not an organized effort by the schools. It came from the students themselves, a mission that came into place in less than a day by youngsters who were close to the three Ball children as well as many were only classmates who cared.
As T.K. Stone Principal Beth Mather said, the organized effort by children showed “the depth of caring they have for each other as well as the support they can provide.’’
She called the movement, “pretty cool.” Others at the school wore pink shirts as word spread of the plan through social media.
There are a lot of really bad things that go on in this community and in the world we live in, and too often they may overshadow the good things we have here, and the really good people that live in Hardin County.
A lot of those people are the young, caring hearts that exist in our classrooms throughout the county.
There also was the effort of T.K. teacher Kerrie Bal, a close family friend. She coordinated two other activities: a sign and picture to take to the family.
The Ball children were able to witness support Thursday from their classmates with hugs and pink streaks on this day.
For me, I left with much more than a cup of coffee.
Jeff D’Alessio is news editor
of The News-Enterprise. He can be reached at 270-505-1757 or  jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.