From the time he was a kid, Harry Evans knew he wanted to be an aviator.
But he didn't know that, after Annapolis and deployment, it would be so hard to call home.
Evans, a 1999 Liverpool High School graduate and Willow Field Elementary alum, is now a lieutenant junior grade in the Navy, serving with the VFA-154 Black Knights, attached to Carrier Airwing 9 aboard the USS John C. Stennis. His ship is now in the North Arabian Sea, where it will remain for the next several months. Hoping to help his fellow servicemen get in touch with their families, Evans contacted his old alma mater.
"I'm hoping to collect as many prepaid phone cards as I can, so I can hand them out to these sailors for use in a future port," he said. "After our first port, I realized how important the phone cards were. The USO was handing out free cell phones for people to use, but you needed a prepaid AT&T phone card."
And phone cards don't come cheap. Sailors have access to an onboard phone, but access is limited, and phone cards cost 50 cents a minute. In port, rates are even higher.
Evans' mother Sarah got in touch with Sandy Lamirand and Karen Beale at Willow Field and asked for their help. The teachers, both student council advisors, immediately took the idea to the kids and their fellow staff members. The group concocted the Kids Walk to Talk fundraiser, in which all of Willow Field's students would walk as many laps as they could around the front loop in a 30-minute period. The walk-a-thon was held on May 31. Students collected pledges for each lap walked or flat donations from sponsors. The money raised goes to purchase prepaid phone cards, which will be sent overseas.