Local News

Family, Community Raise Money in Memory of Wakefield High Student

Posted February 6, 2007 10:39 p.m. EST
Updated February 6, 2007 11:51 p.m. EST

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.