Band dedicates bench to Abby Rejer

Written by: Hannah Akers // Managing Editor, Kristiana Lulgjuraj // Feature Editor, and Olivia Biddle // News Editor

In honor of former student and band member Abby Rejer, who passed last school year, the New Palestine High School band students fundraised for a bench and landscaping outside of the auditorium entrance.

The bench and landscaping had been installed earlier this month.

“When Abby passed away last year, it shocked every body; it was a shock to the kids in band; it was a shock to the community; it was a shock to the family; a shock to me. I’ve had students pass in the past, however, anytime something like that happens, you wanna do whatever you can to create a memory that lasts,” NPHS band director Shawn Humphries said. “We wanted to try and find a way to keep her memory alive.”

One of the first things the band students did when they got the news was begin to fundraise money to create something in her memory.

“We raised around $2,000 in two days. It was pretty impressive, so the first thing Humphries talked to us about was pouring a concrete slab out there and putting some benches down,” senior band member Tyler Voris said.

The band has dedicated many items for students who have passed away.

“We’ve created awards for those students. We present them at our awards banquet and their name is on the wall,” Humphries said.

Specifically for Abby, the band did a special dedication at its most recent spring concert. They put her music in a glass case and gave it to her family. They also had her chair empty when they performed at contests. But even with that, they did the fundraising so they could make something more permanent for her.

Monday, November 6, students went out from 3-6 p.m. to work on the landscaping.

“We went out there and dug up the ground, we laid gravel, we laid mulch, planted trees, made it look nice, and some of us stayed after until 7 or 8 to get it all done. It was a nice activity for us to do in memory of a fallen band mate,” NPHS senior Tyler Voris said.

The band received donations for the concrete and landscaping materials, but the students did all of the gravel and mulch work.
“We decided that it would be appropriate of us to use that money to make the school look a little bit nicer and also have something special to remember her by,” Humphries said.

The group had a great turnout, with about 50 people show up to help create this memorial. While the students were working on this memorial, Abby’s mother came by to talk to them and bought them pizza as a thank you.

“A lot of the people that showed up were like freshmen,” NPHS junior Austin Sword said. “They never even knew Abby but they showed up because they knew this was something that really affected our group.”

bench 1

Students work on building a bench. Photo provided by Tyler Voris.

bench 2

Students pose with finished product. Photo provided by Tyler Voris.

bench 3

The Abby Rejer bench. Photo provided by Tyler Voris.

About editor