Nettleton High School Seniors Rally Around Student with Disability

April 23, 2004 -- Posted 3:15 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- Seniors at Nettleton High School in Jonesboro are rallying around a fellow classmate who doesn't let his disability keep him down.

18 year old Tony Tucker has a lot to be proud of. He's on the baseball team, he's been given a scholarship to ASU, and they say he's got more friends than anyone in the entire school.

"He was voted who's who for best personality," said Senior Ashley Bringer. "He's been on the honor roll, plays on the baseball team, he keeps up his grades real well, everybody in this school just adores him."

But at closer look, you'll notice Tony was born without legs, and only uses one arm. Standing at 2 feet 7 inches, his short stature doesn't get in the way of his big heart.

"Nothing bothers him, he just gets along with everybody," said classmate Justin McGarity. "He does anything you want him to, he's a great guy."

And apparently Tony's quite a fun guy as well.

"You can rough house with him just like he's anybody else," said classmate Steven Estell. "You can play with him, he's got a great sense of humor about anything he does."

And so for weeks these students have mobilized others to get involved with project T.N.T " Tony Needs Transportation." They want to give back to Tony what he has given to them.

"We're trying to get Tony a vehicle for graduation, because right now he rides around with all the senior guys they take him everywhere, so we're going to try to get him a vehicle to adapt to the college life," said Ashley Bringer.

The students at Nettleton have a huge project in front of them. Not only do they have to buy a truck, they have to get it modified and they have to buy insurance.

"The modifications alone cost 20 thousand," said Bringer.

But despite the hefty fees, these seniors are optimistic they'll be able to raise the money.

"It's going to be awesome, because for one we've always picked up Tony, we've always taken him everywhere and it would just be an unbelievable feeling for him to pick us up," said classmate Bryce Walzer.

And so hopefully, with a new set of wheels, Tony will be the big man on campus this fall.

If you would like to contribute to this fundraiser, you can make your donation to the special account for Tony Tucker at Liberty Bank's main branch in Jonesboro.