Local News

Family, Community Raise Money in Memory of Wakefield High Student

Posted February 6, 2007

As a memorial is planned in honor of another local student killed in a speed-related wreck, the community comes together to build a monument that pays tribute to what the student loved best.

"Baseball, from five years old, was his whole life. He just loved baseball. And we loved watching him," said Kathleen George of her son Steven, who was killed in a wreck nearly a year ago.

Eighteen-year-old Steven George's parents were his biggest fans, both on and off the field.

"He was my best buddy," said Steven George Sr.

Steven George Jr. was Steven and Kathleen George's youngest child and only son. Now, all they have is memories.

"It is just as hard as when the police rang the doorbell at 2 in the morning to tell us the news,” said Kathleen George. “It's now more of a reality setting in that he is not coming home.”

The Wakefield High School senior and three friends were killed in a car crash on Mar. 4, 2006. Police said they were driving more than 100 mph when the car careened off a bridge and fell 58 feet to the ground.

"The bedroom has never been touched,” said Kathleen George. “It's like we feel if we touch this stuff, he's no longer here."

Keeping memories alive has kept Steven’s parents going. That's what inspired plans for a baseball field house at Wakefield High in his honor. The approximately 900 square-foot facility has a locker room, showers and public bathrooms.

"(The facility is) something that not only we'll appreciate, but I think the people who come out and watch us play will appreciate it too," said Ed Hall, the baseball coach at Wakefield High.

Right now, there are no facilities at the ballfield. Local businesses and community members have stepped up to the plate in Steven's honor, donating time, money and materials toward the project.

"It's honestly going to be hard to be there when they open it up. But we know how happy he would be about it," Kathleen George said.

The George family has set up a fund in their son's honor. They have collected more than $4,000, but more money is still needed. They said they hope to have the field house built by next spring.

Anyone who would like to make a donation can send it to Wakefield High School, 2200 Wakefield Pines Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614. Checks can be written to Wakefield Baseball in memory of Steven George.

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  • luvandluk Feb 17, 2007

    I was appalled at this story! Build a field house, have fund raisers, ask local businesses to donate but, don't do it as a memorial to a child who made a fatal decision. Use Steven as an example of what children/teenages should NOT do. Maybe that would help another family from experiencing the same loss. I am truly sorry for the George's loss. However, I think the efforts to build a field house in his memory leades one, justly or otherwise, to believe that they condone his actions and decisions that ultimately lead to his and his friends' deaths.

  • machaney41 Feb 7, 2007

    How bout you take that money and donate it to teaching these kids that they aren't invincible just because mommy and daddy throw money at them and let them do whatever they want.

  • Miss Anthropist Feb 7, 2007

    PhoenixElon99 -at- yahoo -dot- com
    Your Question
    "How many kids have to die before the rest of them get it?"
    Is All Too Real. For All Of Us.
    However, I'm Afraid That The Question They Will Soon Be Asking Is "Who's Next?

  • lorabora84 Feb 7, 2007

    And it's not just those two schools/areas that are experiencing a loss of students/teenagers. It happens everywhere, it's just more publicized here.

  • lorabora84 Feb 7, 2007

    I knew Jamie Brewer since 3rd Grade. She's one of the kids that died in the wreck on 540 in May of 2001. Alcohol was NOT a factor in that crash. It was a stupid thing, speeding and racing, but they were NOT drunk. Not every teenager that dies in a wreck is drunk. You talk about the affluence of Wakefield and Leesville schools, but money is everywhere in this area. Money and stupidity. I think what people want to do with money is their choice. A great Driver's Ed program would be fantastic, but teenagers (and adults alike) don't always listen. Even if there is tragedy, people tend to forget after a while. I am an offender myself to this. Society will never learn and we will go on losing our kids, friends, family members in tragic ways. It's sad and heartwrenching, but that is life.

  • phoenixelon99 Feb 7, 2007

    If one chooses to remember their child by creating something that is a tribute to what that child loved more than anything else, who are we to say that's wrong? If you don't agree with it, don't donate. The question has been asked, many times, "How many kids have to die before the rest of them get it?" I believe the first time that question got asked was around 1 AD. But those who are left behind have to deal with the hand they've been given, and they should be allowed to do so without being judged by others. What would you do?

  • jannisheart Feb 7, 2007

    I think instead of raising money for a memorial that instead it should be used to bring awareness to the students of Wakefield High School and surrounding schools how speed, substance abuse, and other factors play a part in these types of accidents. Wakefield High has suffered so much in the past few years and it's no secret that all of these accidents have had tragic consequences due to factors that could have been prevented. Educating, parents involvement, and school envolvement can help. It takes a village to raise a child not to mention educating the village.

  • highergame4me Feb 7, 2007

    Nothing to do with what the son did/did not do. MEMORIAL FOR THEIR SON, THAT'S ALL, EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO DO SUCH!! GET OFF PARENTS BACK, haven't they endured enough..God Bless Them.

  • pardontheemail Feb 7, 2007

    Has anyone stopped to think that this memorial at the school could be of bigger importance, in the terms of being a reminder to the students of the high school for a long time to come? DHARLOW, what does the alcohol-related deaths of kids from the affluent sections of Wake County including Wakefield and Leesville tell you? Educate me since you are 'oh so observant.'

  • ++2A-Shall Not Be Infringed++ Feb 7, 2007

    I wont even comment on this one , there's a little bit of me in every one of yall's, its good, its bad, and its ugly.