Westside Middle School remembers student with buddy bench

Westside Middle School remembers student with buddy bench

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Westside Middle School has a new addition in their memorial garden to remember the life of a student who was killed in an accident in November.

Back the Blue donated a buddy bench in honor of 12-year-old Garrin Fair.

Jonesboro Police Lieutenant John Shipman said a family member of his has donated buddy benches to schools in Greene County and he thought it would be a great way to honor Garrin at his school.

"I've heard nothing but great things about this young man," Shipman said. "In his 12 years, for what he's already accomplished, I hope that I have done that in my 49 years. I can already see his classmates sitting on the bench, talking and laughing and remembering him."

Shipman said the bench is the first one the organization has donated to a Craighead County school.

The bench currently is painted with red and white stripes and includes a football helmet with Garrin's favorite number as well as his name.

Shipman said they plan to add more to the bench with the help of the school's art department.

"We're going to have the football team and maybe any other kid that would like to put their handprints on this bench, "Shipman said.

Garrin's family was also in attendance during the special assembly.

Mandi Fair, Garrin's mother, said she was in awe when she saw it.

"It's kind of expected of Jonesboro," Fair said. "This community has always been great to us. To have a memorial like this where people can come to remember him is phenomenal to me."

Two of Garrin's friends came together in a special way to keep their friend's memory alive.

Fair said they came up with an idea to make a movie about him and it's now in the works.

"My mom reached out to some Christian production companies and we got a call back," Fair said. "We have a producer and it's called I am Garrin. He's reached out to a screenwriter from California and he's going to fly down this summer."

Fair said the family has been given the task of gathering letters from anyone who knew Garrin, detailing how he impacted their life.

Fair said letters can be messaged to her on Facebook on the page set up for the film.

"Garrin's story is about how he impacted others," Fair said. "The movie is going to basically be that. We want to reach as many souls as possible."

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